costs1

This blog takes you up to 40,000 feet to provide perspective: You work as a part of an industry expected to reach unprecedented growth levels. So much so, that growth in national health spending will outpace projected growth in our *gross domestic product over the same period.  Think about that. Healthcare services alone will consume 40% of the gross national product of the world’s largest economy by 2050. Consider these amazing growth numbers:

$2 trillion = The current spend on healthcare in our country today.

$600 billion = The amount of the $2 trillion that goes toward administrative costs, not actual treatment or services. That’s 31% spent on admin, according to the Harvard Business School.

$6 trillion = The expected spend on U.S. healthcare by 2027! The factors expected to get us to that number are:

  • An increase in income and employment
  • The Baby Boomer generation continuing to age into Medicare
  • Increasing costs of medical goods and services

47% = The amount of that $6 trillion figure that will be financed by federal, state, and local governments. Who pays for the rest? Insurance companies, employers, and YOU (consumers via out of pocket).

40 million = The estimated number of Americans without health insurance. Because many are unemployed or low-income, employer programs and tax relief programs don’t help them.

For more facts and figures from CMS along these lines, click here.

*The gross domestic product measures the value of economic activity. Specifically, GDP is the sum of the market values (i.e., prices) of all final goods and services produced in an economy during a period of time.

Health Insurance Access

Separately, CMS put out a 60-day call for recommendations that would allow Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines. The goal: increase consumer choice, promote competition, and decrease prices in the health insurance market.

In collecting ideas on how to change the system, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said “CMS is looking for information and ideas from the public on how to create a more dynamic health insurance market with more insurers participating and competing to meet the needs of the American people just like we see in markets for so many other products and services that enhance our daily lives.”

Why they need input: The average individual insurance market premiums available through the *exchange more than doubled from 2013 to 2017, and half of U.S. counties had only one issuer during the 2018 plan year. Expanding the sale of health insurance coverage across state lines could provide more options to people with access to just one issuer and give them a new opportunity to pick a plan that better meets their needs and lowers their cost.

*A health insurance exchange is a marketplace where people who seek individual health insurance plans can comparison shop and enroll. Private health insurance companies can list their plans and premiums on an exchange, or the exchange can list state health insurance plans. The exchanges themselves do not provide the actual coverage—they just list the insurance options.