Health and Science
Wed December 12, 2012
Wisconsin's Health Insurance Costs Continue Climbing
A new report says the cost of health insurance coverage in Wisconsin has continued to rise in the past decade.
Health insurance premiums have increased 62-percent for the average Wisconsin family since 2003 according to the Common Wealth Fund, a non-profit dedicated to improving access to health care. That means more than 20-percent of the average family’s income is now being spent on health insurance. Senior vice president Cathy Schoen says the increase reflects what's happening nationally, “The Wisconsin state trends have actually tracked national trends fairly closely. Average costs of family coverage are about at the national average, which is not necessarily good news. As I mentioned, no matter where you live in the United States, health insurance is increasingly expensive and doesn’t look like good news for families, particularly if you look back eight years ago.”
Schoen says for insurance companies, the options are limited when trying to control costs. Robert Zirchelbach is a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plan, a trade organization representing the largest health insurance providers in Wisconsin. He says the premium increases reflect the rising cost of health care, “Premiums track directly with the underlying cost of medical care. As the cost of providing care increases, premiums increase accordingly. The prices that are being charged for services such as hospital care, physician services, they continue to increase at an unsustainable rate, and that’s having a direct impact on the affordability of health care coverage.
According to the Common Wealth fund the average family will be paying more than $25,000 for insurance within the next seven years if current trends continue.