HDHP on the rise

High deductible health plans (HDHP) are on the rise. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey, 25 percent of all covered workers have an HDHP in 2015, up from just 8% in 2009. For small firms, 69% of workers have a deductible of $1,000 or more compared to only 39% of…

Life Expectancy Inequality

Numerous media outlets and academic studies have demonstrated that in the last few decades, income inequality has grown. However, not only are poor Americans making relatively less money compared to their richer peers in recent years, but poor individuals also have not experienced the same survival gains as the rich. Louise Sheiner reports on a…

ACA driving up health care spending?

That is the conclusion reached by John Holahan and Stacey McMorrow in a RWJ Issue Brief. They claim that “recent reports suggest such growth has returned to a more typical level of approximately 5.6 percent in 2014, considerably faster than increases in gross domestic product (GDP).” Positive excess cost growth–defined as the difference between the…

Half a trillion dollars

Clearly, the care family members provide for sick relatives add significant value to the life of the infirm. Many non-economists may consider the cost of this care as “free” because family members typically are not paid for this services.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  If family members were not caring for their…

Billionaires List

Forbes came out with its list of richest people in the world.  Bill Gates tops the list, but we don’t care about that here at the Healthcare Economist.  Which people in the healthcare industry are the richest?  The top 5 include: 44. Dilip Shanghvi (India): $20 billion 96. Patrick Soon-Shiong (US): $12.2 billion 99. Stefano Pessina (Italy): $12.1 billion 149.…

US Health Care Spending in 2013

What is happening with US healthcare spending? A recent Health Affairs article from the National Health Expenditures Accounts Team summarizes the latest trends. In 2013 US health care spending increased 3.6 percent to $2.9 trillion, or $9,255 per person. The share of gross domestic product devoted to health care spending has remained at 17.4 percent…