Health Care Premiums Go Up and Earnings Stay Low in Washington

KENNEWICK, Wash.-- A new study shows the cost of health care has gone up five times faster than your earnings in the last seven years.

The report finds that health care premiums have gone up 86% Washington, while earnings only went up by 16%.

This means that because the premiums are going up, then the insurance companies and employers have to pay more to provide health care for you, the worker. By trying to reduce their costs many companies are raising deductibles and co-payments for employees.

The Washington Health Care Authority says many companies are trying to make the cost go down, by helping patients with chronic illnesses.

"Through disease management programs, or care management programs, or bolstering up primary care, trying to remove barriers like prescription co-pay for their diabetes medications or for keeping their cholesterol down and blood pressure down," said Richard Onizuka, Health Policy Director for the Washignton Health Care Authority.

Staff at the Washington Health Care Authority say about 5% of the population, drives about 50% of the health care cost. Most of those patients are dealing with chronic illness.

On Thursday, October 30th, there will be a forum to discuss some of these health care issues.

It's happening from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30p.m., at the Red Lion Hotel in Richland.

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