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Report details health insurance costs across Wisconsin

Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.
Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.

EAU CLAIRE, WI (WTAQ) - A recent report on Wisconsin health insurance costs is raising some eyebrows in Eau Claire.

Wisconsin Citizen Action recently said the average monthly health premium statewide is just over $714.

Milwaukee has the highest premiums in the Badger State, and Eau Claire is second at almost $762 a month – 24 percent higher than in Madison.

John Dickey of the Mayo Clinic Health System tells the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram it’s no surprise that Madison’s a lot cheaper – because state government employees have more buying power to get lower-cost plans.

Also, the Citizen Action report said the higher-cost plans generally offer less access to health care – but Dickey says it’s not true in Eau Claire, and he stands behind Mayo’s quality. And he said Mayo is working with Eau Claire’s Group Health Cooperative on a number of projects aimed at bringing premiums down – including wellness programs and promotion of healthy lifestyles.

Robert Kraig of Citizen Action said a lack of competition is partially why Eau Claire’s rates are so high.