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Insured Spend Almost $5000 Out-Of-Pocket

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Insured Spend Almost $5000 Out-Of-Pocket

September 25, 2013
By Monica Gleberman
Contributing Writer

Healthcare has been a constant topic of conversation lately. Between determining if you are qualified for the new Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Care Act) or are reading up on the trends – you will see that most people have been spending more out of their own pockets for insurance then in years past.

Although the Affordable Care Act doesn’t become effective till January 2014, many uninsured people are looking forward to signing up for the low-cost; subsidy supported insurance programs because they might be better off then the currently insured masses.

A recent report completed by Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) found that although healthcare spending growth had slowed last year, more consumers continue to bite the bullet and spend more out of pocket then ever before.

“For the third consecutive year, the growth rate of healthcare spending among privately insured people under age 65 remained low at 4 percent,” said the HCCI. “Health care spending averaged $4,701 per person with employer-sponsored coverage in 2012, up $181 from the year before. In addition, out of pocket spending rose more quickly than expenditures per person, increasing 4.8 percent.”

A majority of those out of pocket expenses could be a result of maxing out coverage, paying for co-pays and prescriptions, and paying those initial yearly deductibles -  which can start as little as $1500 and go as high as $3000. An HCCI executive explained.

“Although average healthcare expenditures grew at nearly the same rate in 2012 as 2011, the causes of the 4 percent increase in spending each year were quite different,” said HCCI executive director David Newman. “In prior years, rising health care prices drove up spending. In 2012, we saw utilization start to change health care trends for prescription drugs and professional procedures.”

So what can consumers do? Make sure they shop around for healthcare insurance that gives them the best coverage for what they need. For example, some insurance companies will cover the complete cost of prescriptions. So if you find yourself constantly going to the pharmacy and paying out of pocket, it might make sense to switch or find a plan that includes prescriptions.

Either way, just make sure you stay informed on what your coverage includes to limit spending an additional $5000 per year out of pocket.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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