COMMENTARY: How's Your Health... Insurance?
Having health insurance seems more like a privilege, but what's your insurance temperature?
I noticed this story on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about health insurance premiums going up, but I was curious to find out your experience with health insurance.
America's Health Insurance Plans issued a press release with the following talking points. Here are a few of the takeaways:
- Prices for medical services continue to rise
- Recent data from the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite found that “healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance increased by 7.73% over the year ending July 2011.”
- The annual Milliman Medical Index (MMI) found that “between 2010 and 2011, the MMI increased by $1,319 or 7.3%.” Moreover, the report noted that “even though hospital spending is only 48% of total healthcare spending, increases in facility spending (inpatient and outpatient combined) account for over 60% of this year’s total increase in cost of healthcare.”
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Health Research Institute’s “Behind the Numbers: Medical Cost Trends for 2012”, which examines the medical cost trends for employers in 2012, found that “medical cost trend is expected to increase from 8% in 2011 to 8.5% in 2012.”
- Medco’s Drug Trend Report, an annual look at prescription drug price and utilization trends, found that “overall drug inflation climbed 5.4%”, “record inflation of branded drugs at 9.4% exceeded generic inflation by a wide margin”, and “specialty drug trend was 17.4% in 2010, fueled by unit cost growth of 11.5%.”
- According to National Health Expenditure Data released by CMS, the growth in health insurance premiums has tracked directly with the growth in benefits.
- Health plan administrative costs and profits are not driving up the cost of coverage
- According to the latest Yahoo!Finance data, the health plan sector has an average profit margin of 4.5 percent.
- In 2010, health plan profits accounted for less than 1 percent of total health care spending in the U.S.
But I want to hear from you. Did your premiums go up? Did your employer cost share with you or did the increase get passed on directly to you?
Also, I wondered how the level of coverage has changed? Do you go to the doctor? How is your health?