Insurance Rates Skyrocket - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/4/02 - Tyler

Insurance Rates Skyrocket

Ann Harris is facing a dilemma, "I can't recognize a raise because the premiums between house, car insurance and health insurance have gone up so much." It's Ann's health insurance that's taking the biggest bite from her salary. As her premiums doubled, the coverage dwindled.

Insurance agents like Linda Sellers are left explaining why, "A lot has to do with the cost of prescription drugs, and the use of prescription drugs."

Part of the problem, the state of Texas requires employers to provide a wider range of coverage than any other state. Those mandates results in better coverage, from maternity to extended coverage for college students. But better coverage means higher premiums.

From health to homeowners...the crisis has reached Charlotte Parks too, "I called the insurance company and they said, 'Oh, it's the mold." Toxic mold claims are creating landslide lawsuits. Charlotte's never had a homeowners claim but her insurance jumped from $620 to over $1,200 in a years time.

For folks like Ann it means making major changes, "I don't go to the doctor as much. If I have something come up--i just tough it out." A tough situation that leaves Texans with few options--pay up or go uninsured.

To offset the increase...many employers are raising deductibles and co-pays. It's estimated that 25 percent of people in Texas are currently uninsured as a result of this crisis.

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