KCUR News
12:07 pm
Sun August 16, 2009

New Study: Mo. Insurance Premiums Far Outpaced Income Over Last Decade

Kansas City, MO – Health care premiums in Missouri rose three and a half times faster than workers' earnings over the past decade. That's according to a new study from the consumer advocacy group Families USA. KCUR's Elana Gordon has more.

The report found that average wages increased by about 20 percent over the last ten years, but family insurance premiums went up by about 80 percent. Ron Pollak is Executive Director of Families USA and says those rising costs haven't necessarily equated to better insurance.

POLLAK: "These premiums keep on purchasing thinner coverage. Coverage that comes with higher deductibles, higher copayments, and fewer benefits."

Pollak also says both employers and employees have shared the burden of mounting insurance costs. Since the year 2000, annual employer expenses for health coverage rose by about 4,000 dollars per employee. Employee costs went up by about $2,000 dollars over that same time period.

The report is based on data from the Census Bureau, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

Download recent health stories or subscribe to the KCUR Health Podcast