Anna Wilde Mathews wrote a Wall Street Journal article titled Cost of Employer-Provided Health Coverage Passes $20,000 a Year.

« Annual premiums rose 5% to hit $20,576 for an employer-provided family plan in 2019, according to the yearly poll of employers by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. On average, employers bore 71% of that cost, while employees paid the rest. »

« A report earlier this year from the Health Care Cost Institute tracked health spending by examining insurer claims from employer-sponsored coverage between 2013 and 2017, and found that over that time health-care utilization declined 0.2% and average prices increased 17.1%. »

« A major driver of the cost of coverage has been the rising prices that insurers and employers pay for health care, said Niall Brennan, chief executive of the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit. “The vast majority of this can be explained by prices,” particularly for hospital care, he said. Consolidation by hospital systems has in many cases given them a larger share of their local markets, which “enables them to engage in pretty unconstrained pricing behavior,” he said. »

And yet « Melinda Hatton, general counsel of the American Hospital Association, pointed to research funded by the group that found hospital mergers tended to increase quality of care and reduce costs. “What you see is revenues consistently going down,” which shows that merged hospitals aren’t raising their rates, she said. »

Hmmm.

I’m so glad the Affordable Care Act solved this problem 10 years ago.

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