Consumers Paying More Out-of-Pocket, Despite Slow Healthcare Spending Growth

Health spending by privately insured patients increased 4% last year, with households picking up more of the cost, new data show.

Health spending by privately insured patients increased 4% last year, with households picking up more of the cost, new data show.

Spending per person among the privately insured increased $181 to $4,701 last year from the prior year, an analysis by the not-for-profit Health Care Cost Institute found. Institute researchers analyzed medical bills submitted to insurance giants Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare for 2012 and three previous years in the report, which found slow growth continued last year among the commercially insured across all payers.

Last week, new federal data said overall health spending last year grew at a projected 3.9% for the fourth straight year.

Privately insured patients shouldered 16.3% of their healthcare costs out of their own pockets last year, compared with 16.1% in 2010, according to the Health Care Cost Institute.

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Source: Modern Healthcare