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New Report Shows How Much Missourians Pay for Health Care

A non-profit organization has released a report showing how Missourians with health insurance will be affected by spending caps that are set to go into effect in 2014 as part of the new federal health care act. KSMU’s Xiaowen Tan reports.

As part of the new health care legislation passed by Congress last year, there will be a limit, or cap, on how much money families have to pay out-of-pocket for health care services, starting in 2014.

Families USA is a nonpartisan organization that researches health care trends across the country. It decided to look at how much Missourians with health insurance are already paying for doctors’ visits and medicine, in addition to their health insurance premiums.

Kathleen Stoll, executive director at Families USA, co-authored a new report looking at the caps on out-of-pocket expenses that are scheduled to go into effect in three years. She says even Missourians with health insurance are having to spend a lot of money on health care services.

For example, she says over a quarter of a million Missourians are spending more than the caps would allow under the new federal health care law.

“People in Missouri today end up paying millions, literally millions of dollars that out of pocket for their health care even though they have insurance. Beginning in 2014, the amount of money that Missourians with insurance will have to spend out of their own pockets each year for health care services will be absolutely caps”, she said.

The report found that, when adjusted to 2011, the caps on out-of-pocket spending would be about 6,000 dollars for an individual and almost 12,000 dollars for a family. Families USA says on average, Missourians are paying a total of 442 million dollars more than the caps right now.

The report also found that two-thirds of the Missourians who will spend more than the proposed out-of-pocket caps this year are in working families.

For KSMU News, I’m Xiaowen Tan.