Thursday, December 22, 2011

Report Reveals Wide Disparities in Wisconsin’s Health Insurance Costs and Quality

This week Citizen Action of Wisconsin released its 6th annual Health Insurance Cost Ranking. The report provides local information on cost, quality, and the rate of health insurance inflation. The study highlights a large disparity in health insurance costs between the different regions of the state, with some paying over $2,000 more per year for single health coverage.

This year's report finds the largest regional disparities yet reported. It concluded that La Crosse has the highest health insurance costs, followed closely by Eau Claire, Superior, Wausau, and Milwaukee. Citizen Action noted that because Milwaukee has a predominance of national for-profit health insurance companies, its coverage is both high cost and low quality. Madison has both the lowest health insurance costs and the highest quality, which vividly makes the point that the rest of the state’s residents are not getting the value they deserve.

The report also provides valuable insights into how to bring health care costs under control, and how Wisconsin can best implement the Affordable Care Act, the new national health care reform law. Unfortunately, Governor Walker said today that he was putting a hold on implementation of the health insurance exchanges required by that law, until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the legal challenge to the law. (See Jason Stein’s article, posted this evening on the Journal Sentinel website.)

For some of the press coverage about the Citizen Action report, see the articles in the WI State Journal or the Green Bay Press Gazette.

Jon Peacock

No comments: