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Winter 2021  Volume 14, Number 4        

This Just In ...

Health Care Costs Spiraling

Historically, health care spending in the United States has risen less than 5 percent annually. However, in 2020 that changed in a big way and experts expect the trend to continue.

Kalorama Information, a publisher of medical market research, reports that patient out-of-pocket health care costs are up 10 percent since 2020. Researchers estimate that these costs could continue to grow 9.9 percent annually through 2026.

This is in comparison to a 4.6 percent increase in 2019; 4.7 percent in 2018; and 4.3 percent in 2017, according to the AMA Policy Research Perspective.

Kalorama representatives say reasons for the increase cover a wide range, including:

  • Insurance/payer actions taken by Managed Care Organizations. These organizations try to contain costs by shifting the risk of overutilization to the physicians, who are incentivized to order fewer medical services.
  • Regulatory issues, including the repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate, which lead many Americans to forgo insurance.
  • Demographic trends, such as obesity, aging, chronic conditions, mental illness and addiction, that affect large groups of people.

Possible Solutions

One way to cap growing out-of-pocket costs is through key patient engagement efforts like chronic disease management.

Experts also recommend referring patients to low-cost health care options, including using generic drugs.


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In this issue:

This Just In...

How to Avoid Challenges to Your Disability Claim

Planning for Care When You Need It Most

Errors to Avoid If You Inherit an IRA

Life Insurance for the One Who Makes a House a Home


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