(11/13/2007)
While most West Virginia workers who live in rural counties drive great distances to work and are worried about $3 plus gasoline prices, there is another big concern.

West Virginia wage earners are facing an uphill battle with ever rising insurance costs.

A new survey of health care plans offered by West Virginia employers suggests insurance costs are rising faster than wages.

The survey was completed by Charleston-based Commercial Insurance Services says the trend will continue.

The state's PEIA (public employee insurance) is predicting a major increase by 2009.

Plan costs rose 9 percent from 2006 to 2007.

The survey found insurance companies expect another increase ranging from 6 percent to 10 percent in 2008.

Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show the median wage increase in West Virginia was 0.6 percent from 2006 to 2007.


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