On a media call today that included Congresswoman Gwen Moore and State Senator Chris Larson, Citizen Action of Wisconsin released the 9th Annual Wisconsin Health Insurance Cost Rankings report. The new report sheds light on how health insurance hyperinflation is impacting the major regions of the state. Click to hear the audio of the media call.
Since its inception in 2006, the annual Wisconsin Health Insurance Cost Ranking report has received a great deal of attention across the state because it provides such a measure. The report has consistently shown that although costs are high across Wisconsin, that some regions of the state pay thousands of dollars more for health insurance than others.
- There continue to be wide cost variations between higher and lower cost areas of the state on the large group market.
- There is a 22% variation between the highest cost metro area (Rhinelander) and the lowest cost metro area (Madison), which amounts to a $1,763 difference for a single policy each year
- On the small group market, the regional cost variation is even greater.
- The high cost area (Rhinelander) has rates 35% higher than the lowest cost area (the greater Fox Valley), which amounts to $1,578.36 more per year for single coverage.
- Milwaukee has rates 27% higher than those in the Fox Valley, which amounts to a $1,017 difference per year
- On the individual market:
- Superior has rates 42% higher than the lowest cost area (Madison), which amounts to a $1,702 difference per year for single coverage.
- La Crosse, the second highest cost city for individual market insurance, has rates 41% higher than Madison, which amounts to a difference of $1,677 per year.
- This year Rhinelander had the highest rate of large group health insurance inflation, with an 8% increase.
- It was closely followed by Green Bay, the Fox Valley, and other cities which had 6% increases.
- For the first time in the history of this report Milwaukee and Racine had the lowest rate of large group health insurance inflation, only 1%.
- The statewide average was 4%.
- Wisconsin large group health insurance rates have more than tripled since 2000, increasing 211% for a similar benefit package, with regional rates of inflation varying between a low of 172% in Madison to 366% in Green Bay.
- This report, as it has previous years, finds that there is no clear correlation between quality and health insurance costs, with some of the low cost areas of the state having higher quality insurance plans and some higher costs areas having lower quality.