Medical bills for Missourians who have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act can be prohibitively expensive, according to a new report from the American Hospital Association.
The association, which has been tracking health care costs in the state, has found Missouri ranks No. 6 in the nation when it comes to the number of medical bills its residents pay.
The APA released its study Thursday.
It found Missouri has more than 4.4 million residents who pay more than 10 percent of their income for their medical care.
But the state has an estimated 6.4 percent uninsured population, the highest in the country.
APA says Missouri ranks fifth in the U.S. in the number and rate of medical costs per capita.
The state has seen a spike in new patients over the last two years, and that has contributed to more costs, said Jim Miller, chief medical officer for the Missouri Health and Human Services Agency.
It’s a very difficult situation for our residents, especially in the areas of emergency care and rehabilitation,” Miller said.
The Missouri Health Department says its goal is to be the best in the world in health care for all residents.
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that the cost of medical care in Missouri increased 1.3 percent last year.
The study comes on the heels of another major health care cost report released Thursday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which found the cost to the U:S.
economy increased 4.7 percent in the first six months of 2017, from $2.4 trillion to $3.5 trillion.
The report showed the costs of medical expenses to families and the uninsured, as well as medical care out-of-pocket for those who don’t have insurance, climbed 8.7% in the same period.
Health care costs rose 4.1% for adults, and 8.3% for children.
The cost of Medicaid spending rose 0.9% in that period.
The health care spending trend is expected to continue as states continue to expand their Medicaid programs, Miller said, noting that many states are expected to expand Medicaid coverage by 2026.