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Employee Health Costs Outpace Incomes in Missouri

By Elana Gordon


Kansas City, MO – A report released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that between 2001 and 2005, the average income of working Missourians remained about the same, while the average cost of employee-based insurance premiums rose 36%. The report ranks Missouri as having the 5th highest increase among all 50 states. William Bruning is President of the Mid-America Coalition on Healthcare and says he's not surprised with the report because the cost of employee-based health coverage has been going up for some time. But he says employers are no longer able to carry the cost on their own.

Bruning: We're seeing the days of an employer that covers the full cost for all their employees healthcare largely gone and we see more and more employers beginning to look to employees to absorb some of the costs for their healthcare themselves out of their own paycheck.

The report also found that the average cost of health premiums in Kansas rose about 8 percent.

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

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