Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Walmart is the low-price leader

…at least when it comes to prescription drugs.  Health Pocket reports that the lowest cost Part D plan is the Humana/Walmart RX plan which charges a monthly premium of $12.60.  In 2013, AARP MedicareRX Saver Plus from UnitedHealthcare was the lowest cost plan and charged a premium of $15.  In 2014, however, the monthly premium […]

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Healthcare Costs to Rise by over 7 percent in 2013

Reuters reports on a PwC study evaluating health care premium growth. “The cost of healthcare services is expected to rise 7.5 percent in 2013, more than three times the projected rates for inflation and economic growth, according to an industry research report released on Thursday. But premiums for large employer-sponsored health plans could increase by […]

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Health Insurance Premium Growth

Health Insurance premium inflation is back.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey 2011, health insurance premiums for single individuals was $5,429 for single individuals and $15,073 for a family plan.  Premium growth for single and family plans was below 6 percent per year over the last 5 years (2005-2010). However, between […]

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How to stop health premium increases?

California think they have found the answer. “The bill in question is AB 52, introduced by Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles). It would prevent health insurance premium increases from going into effect without the prior approval of the commissioner of insurance or the director of the Department of Managed Health Care, who share jurisdiction over […]

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Does WellPoint care about quality…or reducing cost?

One large insurer is planning to begin paying hospitals based on quality. “WellPoint is replacing the system it uses to help offset rising medical and other costs at hospitals in 14 states that serve its Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, which cover 34 million people. In recent years, it has raised its payments to those […]

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Labor Day Post II: Health Insurance Cost Shifting

Sticky wages is the concept that few employees will agree to a nominal decrease in wages even if there is a decrease in productivity.  However, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that although nominal wages may not be decreasing, the amount of money workers are paying for health insurance is rising quickly (full report). “Workers on […]

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The Cost of Health Insurance Mandates

Health insurance mandates increase health insurance cost.  By compelling insurance companies to cover certain medical treatments, cost inevitably rise.  Of course the people who receive these treatments benefit while those who do not must pay additional premiums.  A recent paper by the Pacific Research Institute summarizes the findings of various studies of the impact of […]

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Income not keeping pace with health insurance cost

A recent report from Cover the Insured.org reviews the how health insurance trends have evolved over the last ten to fifteen years.  The percent of uninsured individuals has increased from 16.0% of the population in 1995 to 17.5% of the population in 2006.  The increase is entirely due to the increase in uninsurance among working […]

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Slowing medical CPI may not last

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Medical CPI is only 3.2%.  This is less than the 4.1% average inflation rate over the past ten years and the 6.0% average medical inflation rate over the past 30 years.  In most markets, a slowing economy reduces demand and reduces prices (see the recent decline in oil […]

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