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Health Payer Intelligence: Deductibles, Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Spending Rose 3% in 2015

By: Vera Gruessner 

Healthcare spending within the private health insurance market has grown 4.6 percent in 2015, according to a press release from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). This type of growth in spending is higher than in recent years. For instance, healthcare spending in 2014 saw a 2.6 percent rise while 2013 spending increased by 3 percent.

The HCCI study, called the 2015 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report, shows that the costs for prescription drugs, outpatient services, and inpatient care rose anywhere from 3.5 to 9 percent last year. These cost increases are significantly larger than prior years, which led to both patients and health payers taking on more of the reimbursement cost.

The report found that the main reason for these cost growths were due to providers increasing their prices. The Health Care Cost Institute looked at medical claims data from 2012 to 2015 among four national payers, which include Humana, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, and UnitedHealthcare.

"Spending grew faster than we might have expected in 2015, given the slower growth in previous years," said HCCI Senior Researcher Amanda Frost. "The combination of people using more health care services and the faster growth in prices pushed up spending, with prices playing the bigger role."