U.S. health care spend growing at a faster pace than expected
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U.S. health care spending grew at a faster pace than expected in 2011, according to a report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI), a Washington-based nonprofit organization. The two-year tend of small cost increases ended in 2011, when costs for individuals with employer-sponsored health insurance plans jumped 4.6 percent in 2011. The growth rate in 2010 was 3.8 percent. The growth in spend equates to $4,547 per person.
According to the report, consumer out-of-pocket spend also increased by that same percentage to $735 per person. Spending levels grew fastest for outpatient services, for those ages 18 and younger, and those in the Northeast region. Spending grew the slowest for prescriptions. Experts anticipated a more modest increase in healthcare spending because of the sluggish economy. Analysts at HCCI attributed the increase more to rising prices than increased utilization of the health care system.
The Health Care Cost Institute used data from 40 million Americans with private insurance provided by health plans such as Aetna, UnitedHealth, Humana and Kaiser Permanente.
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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, and based on particular situations, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice, financial advice and/or the advice of a licensed insurance or certified human resource professional.
© Connelly, Carlisle, Fields & Nichols 2012