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The cost of health insurance provided by California employers has risen five times as fast as overall inflation since 2002, according to a new survey by the California HealthCare Foundation.

Health insurance premiums increased by 117.5 percent during the period, says the California Employer Health Benefits Survey, while the state's overall cost of living rate was 23.1 percent, including a 7.5 percent gain in the last year.

The survey also found that employers are shifting some of the added costs to their workers and/or shifting to less extensive coverage. This year, for instance, more than 20 percent of covered workers in small firms had deductibles of $1,000 or more, three times as many as in 2002.

Finally, the survey revealed that six percent of employers say they are "very likely" to drop coverage completely, up from 1 percent in 2008, 27 percent say they are likely to increase employees' co-insurance and co-pay burdens, and 44 percent of large employers and 20 percent of small ones say they are "very likely" to increase employees' share of insurance costs.

The full survey can be found here.



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