The Cost Of Health Care Is Going Up (You and Your Health)

It looks like we may soon be digging a little deeper to pay for health care in Arizona, and across the US. A new report in the Journal of Health Affairs says our recent break from accelerating health care costs is over.

According to the Wall Street Journal: “The return to bigger growth is a result of expanded insurance coverage under the 2010 health law, a revived economy and crunchtime as Medicare’s baby-boom beneficiaries enter their 70s.

The report projects U.S. health spending will grow by about 5.8% annually (on average) through 2024. That is a big jump from the 4% annual health spending growth we saw between 2007 and 2013. According to the report, health spending growth slowed as the economy slowed and is expected to rise as the economy improves.

From the LA Times:

By 2024, the average American’s annual healthcare tab, including insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays and deductibles, is expected to top $4,216, up from $2,618 in 2014.”

Although this is being to referred to as a ‘modest’ increase, health care as a share of the nation’s overall economy is projected to grow from 17.4 percent in 2013 to 19.6 percent in 2024 which means our nation’s medical bills will account for one out of every five dollars we spend and projected health care costs would exceed growth in wages.

“Those are the numbers that deserve the most attention in thinking about long-term health care spending and whether the country is on a sustainable course,” said Tom Getzen, executive director of the International Health Economics Association.

“Is what we’re paying for health insurance premiums going to go up faster than wages? That’s really the problem,” said Getzen, who recently wrote an analysis of CMS spending projections. “Every forecaster I know says eventually that excess has to stop.”

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