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Many Employer-Based Health Plans Now Cost $20,000-Plus

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In 2008, one in 10 workers in three states -- Alaska, Indiana and Minnesota -- was in employer-based family health insurance plans with costs that topped $20,000, according to new data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

In a new release, the agency said these costs were at least $7,000 more than the national average. And for the nation as a whole, 10 percent of workers (about 2 million people) had a family health insurance plan costing $17,000 or more. Overall, the average American family paid premiums totaling $12,298 in 2008, the AHRQ said.

Other 2008 data from the agency's analysis of private, employer-based plans:

* One in 10 workers ended up paying $6,700 out of pocket; the national average was $3,394;
* 10 percent of workers in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Washington spent at least $8,100 to obtain health coverage for their family;
* More than 3 million American workers had health insurance premiums at $6,200 or more, 41 percent higher than the national average of $4,386;
* One in every 10 workers enrolled in single person coverage plans paid $1,900 or more -- more than twice the national average.

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