Report Says Missouri Health Premiums Rising Faster Than Earnings

OCTOBER 19, 2006 - Posted at 7:50 a.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS, MO - A newly-released report says health care premiums in Missouri rose 61 percent over the past six years, more than three times faster than earnings.

The report is from Washington-based Families USA, a nonprofit group that promotes universal health care.  The report says the increase is still below the national increase of about 70 percent in the six years.

Familes USA attributes the increase to rising health care costs and an increasing number of uninsured Missourians.

The president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri said the industry needs more competition in the health care marketplace to change the trend.  He said consumers should be more involved in making health decisions.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)