Between 2009 – 2010, higher healthcare spending was mainly due to price increases, rather than changes in the use of health care services, according to a report by the Health Care Cost Institute.
The report examined data from three national insurers, Aetna, Humana and United Healthcare, which cover about 20 percent of the population with employer-sponsored group insurance.
Key findings include:
- Per capita health spending among people under 65 is growing moderately, up 3.3 percent from the previous year.
- Prices for hospital admissions, outpatient care and prescription drugs all grew at a much faster rate than general inflation in 2010.
- Utilization of services was generally down in 2010 compared to 2009, with the largest declines in outpatient visits and inpatient admissions.
- Health expenditures increased the most for those 18 and younger, with an estimated growth of 4.5 percent, compared to 3.1 percent growth for those 55 to 64.