Consumer health care costs continue to increase

Out-of-pocket spending for health care services and premiums continues to increase for families across the nation.

According to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change, almost one in five Americans lived in families spending more than 10 percent of before-tax income on health care in 2006, up from one in seven Americans in 2001.  Middle-and higher-income people with private insurance experienced the largest increases in financial burden.  Almost 30 percent of the U.S. population either had a high financial burden of health costs or were uninsured.

(Sources: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, March 26, 2010; Center for Studying Health System Change, http://hschange.org, March 25, 2010)