Study finds regional disparities in Wisconsin health care costs

Citizen Action of Wisconsin released a new report that reveals wide differences in health insurance costs in the state.

The study, Wisconsin Health Insurance Cost Rankings 2008, ranks the major cities and regions of the state on health insurance costs, and explores some of the underlying causes of heath care hyperinflation.

The report finds a 26-percent cost differential between the highest and lowest cost areas of the state, which amounts to nearly a $4,000 annual cost gap for a family health insurance policy.

The report was authored by Robert Kraig, Ph.D.

Building on a stream of research that shows that Wisconsin has among the highest health care costs in the nation, the new analysis shows that some parts of the state are suffering from even higher costs.

“We hope this report will help spur the discussion that will be needed to build a broad public consensus on fundamental solutions to the health care crisis,” said Linda Honold, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

This is the second year this study has been conducted. Last year, it was done by the same author under the auspices of the Institute for One Wisconsin.

The rankings of health care costs in Wisconsin urban markets, from most expensive to the least expensive are:

  1. Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Menomonee, Superior, Hudson, River Falls

  2. Milwaukee, Racine

  3. Rhinelander

  4. Kenosha

  5. La Crosse, Tomah, Sparta

  6. Wausau, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids

  7. Green Bay, Manitowoc, Sheboygan

  8. Beaver Dam, Watertown

  9. Appleton, Oshkosh

10. Fond du Lac

11. Monroe

12. Fort Atkinson

13. Platteville, Dodgeville

14. Janesville, Beloit

15. Madison

The health care costs by region, from most expensive to least expensive, are:

1. Northwest

2. Southeastern

3. Central

4. Northeast

5. Southwestern

6. South Central

The full report will be posted online later today at Citizen Action Wisconsin is a grassroots organization that advocates for a progressive social agenda.

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