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Medical Spending Trends

Editor’s note: It is very important to understand that 50-60% of the population spends less than $750 per year. That impacts both the understanding and the interest in the health care debate. It also limits people’s understanding of how the system works in real terms when people need to access it for more significant situations. Another important observation from many years of designing and administering plans is that people tend to over insure themselves and when selecting a plan, believe that in the coming year they will be in the highest 1% of health care consumers. A recent study found the following increases in employee’s out-of-pocket spending for medical services from 2004 to 2007:
  • Average medical spending increased 34%, from $545 to $729 for all adults.
  • Medical spending increased 42%, or $8,703, for the highest-cost 1% of adults
  • Medical spending increased 39%, or $3,364, for the highest-cost 10% of adults
  • Out-of-pocket spending grew 23%, or $85, for the lowest 50% of spenders

Source: “Trends In Underinsurance And The Affordability Of Employer Coverage, 2004-2007,” Health Affairs 28 no. 4 (abstract only), June 2, 2009, http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/hlthaff.28.4.w595/DC1

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June 20, 2009 - Posted by | Affordability, Cost, Economics of Health care, Health care delivery, Overuse | ,

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