A group that wants to raise awareness of the cost of health insurance in the state claims that premiums for that insurance have sky rocketed while coverage has declined. A new report states annual health insurance premiums from 2000-2007 increased more than 76 percent.
"One of the things the report demonstrates clearly is this astronomical rise in healthcare premiums that effects workers and employers," said Organizer Amy Smoucha with the group St. Louis Jobs with Justice, an issue advocacy group. "We’ve clearly seen when we’ve talked to small business folks that they are making choices between wages and health benefits."
That means many employers across the state are choosing between giving an employee a raise or keeping them insured, she said. The study also states Missouri families with health coverage saw cost of coverage increased more than 4 times faster than earnings.
"So even if you’ve got the health care you really have to worry about how it’s impacting your family’s ability to increase your earnings," Smoucha said.