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Rising Health Costs in Kansas Outpace Income

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – A new report shows that health care costs are increasing at a much faster rate than the median household income. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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The non-profit health care advocacy group, Families USA, reports that in the last six years health insurance premiums in Kansas increased five times faster than the average household income.

Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, says that the soaring health costs in Kansas are in line with the national average - in Missouri premiums increased 3 times faster than incomes. He says if insurance rates continue to go up at this rate it could have wide sweeping effects.

Ron Pollack: "Increasingly health care premiums are becoming unaffordable and people are at the risk of joining the uninsured and underinsured."

Pollack says more uninsured people will continue to strain the health care system and drive up insurance premiums. But, he says, the report found while people are paying more they're getting less comprehensive health benefits and facing higher out-of-pocket costs.

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

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