Families USA study: premiums skyrocket as coverage thins out

    Healthcare reform groups are calling for help for people struggling to keep their insurance. WHYY’s Tom MacDonald has the details.

    Healthcare reform groups are calling for help for people struggling to keep their insurance. WHYY’s Tom MacDonald has the details.

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    Transcript:

    Ron Pollack of the group Families USA says its newest insurance review of the years 2000 to 2007 shows health care costs skyrocketing and wages failing to keep pace with the rising cost of insurance.

    Pollack:
    “The premiums that cost considerably more actually are now pay for thinner coverage. This coverage offers fewer benefits, and it comes with higher deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance.”

    Lori Levine of Mental Health America in Westmoreland County says they are a social service agency struggling to cover their employees and can’t afford to offer dependent coverage.

    Levine:
    “With a cut or a stand-pat [budget] it’s very difficult to handle a six percent increase in your premium for your employees that you are struggling to insure.”

    The groups are calling on Harrisburg to help with extending continuing coverage for people losing their jobs due to the economy, and extending coverage for dependent children until age 30. There are several competing plans trying to find enough votes for approval in Harrisburg. Tom MacDonald, WHYY news.

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