Working Americans are using less health care, but spending more


Even as Americans use less health care. The costs of care keep rising. This trend is consistent with the fact that most Europeans receive significantly more care than Americans do on average but pay far less. Contrary to much conventional wisdom its not the excessive use of medicaid services that’s the main driver of health care cost increases, but rather the prices of medicaid services and products. 

Americans who get health insurance through their jobs are not using more medical care than they were five years ago, but they are spending more due to soaring medical prices, according to a new report.

Health spending for the more than 150 million people who receive insurance through their employers was $5,407 per person in 2016. That is a 4.6 percent increase over 2015, even though people’s use of almost every broad category of care dropped or stayed the same over a five-year period, according to a new analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit funded by the insurance industry.

The report, built on claims data from 39 million people who receive insurance through their employers, found especially sharp increases in the prices of emergency room visits, surgeries and drugs administered in doctors’ offices.

– The Washington Post

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