Health Costs

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New Analysis of Large Employer Health Coverage: The Cost to Families for Health Coverage and Care Has Risen More Than 2X Faster Than Wages and 3X Faster Than Inflation Over the Last Decade 

A new KFF analysis that looked at both premiums and other out-of-pocket costs shows that families with coverage through a large employer paid 67 percent more for their health benefits and care in 2018 than a decade earlier. In 2018, a typical family of four with large employer coverage spent…

Data Note: Prescription Drugs and Older Adults

This data note explores the attitudes and experiences of older adults, ages 65 and up, when it comes to prescription drugs and related policy proposals being discussed. Experiences across different demographic groups are explored, such as household income and health status.

A Small Group of Patients Account for a Whole Lot of Spending

You have heard about the 5% of the population responsible for 50% of spending. Meet the 1.3%–persistent high spenders with very complex medical needs responsible for 20%. Drew Altman discusses this and possible ways to help them, read the Axios column.

A Look at People Who Have Persistently High Spending on Health Care

This analysis looks at the amounts and types of health spending for people with employer-based health insurance who have continuing high health care spending. It finds that, among people with three consecutive years of coverage from a large employer, just 1.3 percent of enrollees accounted for almost 20 percent of…

How Many Employers Could Be Affected by the High-Cost Plan Tax

The high cost plan tax (HCPT) sometimes referred to as the Cadillac tax, is an excise tax on the cost of employer health benefit exceeding certain threshold. The HCPT provides a powerful incentive to control health plans costs over time, whether through efficiency gains or shifts in costs to workers. While many employers do not expect that the tax will take effect in 2022, others are already amending their health programs in anticipation. We estimate if the tax takes effect in 2022, 21% will be subject to the tax, increasing to 37% by 2030 unless firms reduce costs. Larger shares would be affected when counting workers’ voluntary contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Uwe Reinhardt’s New Book Priced Out: His Health Policy Ideas in Today’s Debates

Dr. Uwe Reinhardt is a giant in the health policy field who advised policymakers and influenced debates about the nation’s health system before his passing in 2017. His recently released last book, Priced Out: The Ethics and Economics of Health Care, completed by his wife and longtime collaborator Tsung-Mei (May) Cheng gives…

The Only Health Care Prices That Matter to Consumers

In this column, Drew Altman zeroes in on a key test for when the implementing rules are written for the new executive order on hospital price transparency: consumers will need to know what amount they must pay out of pocket to really help them shop on price.