BUSINESS
10/16/2012 10:56 pm ET

Obama-Romney Debate: Romney Makes False Claim About Health Insurance Premiums Under Obama

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's assertion that health insurance premiums have gotten more expensive by $2,500-per-year during President Barack Obama's presidency is false.

Health insurance premiums for a family plan cost an average $15,745 this year, of which workers pay $4,316 on average and the employer picks up the rest, according to a survey of more than 2,000 employers conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust. In 2009, Obama's first year in office, an average family plan cost $13,375 and the average employee's share was $3,515.

The total average increase during those years was $2,370 -- less than Romney claimed premiums increased each year under Obama. The average hike in the employee's share comes to $801. Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan made a claim similar to Romney's during his debate with Vice President Joe Biden last week.

Obama "said that by now middle-income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. It’s gone up by $2,500 a year," Romney said during the debate Tuesday night.

Romney was correct that the boost in health insurance premium costs doesn't fulfill a promise Obama made during the 2008 presidential campaign to reduce family health care premiums by $2,500 a year.

Health insurance premiums almost doubled from 2002 to 2012 as the cost of health care continues to rise faster than the economy has grown, but in recent years the rate of growth has slowed.

“Premium growth is at historic lows," Maulik Joshi, president of the Health Research and Educational Trust and vice president for research at the American Hospital Association said in a news release when the organizations issued their survey findings last month.

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