Study Shows Continuing Need to Rein in Health Care Costs

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There was a “marked slowdown” in the growth of health care premiums and deductibles for workers and their families in 31 states and the District of Columbia from 2010 to 2013, according to a new study by The Commonwealth Fund.

But the study, which focused on employer-provided health insurance, also reports that premiums rose three times faster than wages in the 10 years that preceded 2013.

The average annual increase from 2003 to 2010 was 5.1 percent; in the next three years it dropped to 4.1 percent, still well over inflation.

The study’s findings underscore the importance of continued cost-control efforts in the U.S. health care system. That system spends far more per capita than those in other industrialized countries, often with equivalent or even worse results.

The Commonwealth Fund study cautions: “Based on recent forecasts that predict an uptick in private insurance growth rates starting in 2015, securing slow cost growth for workers, families and employers will likely require action to address rising costs of medical care services.”

External links:
State Trends in the Cost of Employer Health Insurance Coverage: 2003-2013 (The Commonwealth Fund)
Infographic on Premium Increases by State (The Commonwealth Fund)
Middle Class Workers Struggle to Pay for Care Despite Insurance (USA Today)
Lavish ‘Cadillac’ Health Plans Dying as ACA Tax Looms (Bloomberg)

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