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New study exposes skyrocketing health care prices in the last five years

Is $6,000 a year too much for individuals to be spending on health care? The Health Care Cost Institute found that’s about the average amount American consumers under age 65 spent in 2018.

The Health Care Cost and Utilization Report presents data on health care spending, utilization, and average prices from 2014 through 2018 for individuals under the age of 65 who receive health insurance coverage through an employer.

The report found that health care spending grew 4.4 percent in 2018, which followed a 4.2 percent increase in 2017. From 2014 to 2018 spending increased nearly 20 percent in total, or $453 per person over a five-year period.

Four categories of service were examined by the study: inpatient admissions; outpatient visits and procedures; professional services; and prescription drugs. The increase in spending was attributed to more expensive services, more services being used over that period, and an aging population using health services.

Unsurprisingly, prescription drugs were the top of the list for expenses, accounting for more than a quarter of total spending on average.

Share your story with Voices for Affordable Health if you think your health care spending was too high last year.