Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We Need More Healthcare Consumerism Not Less: Individual Out of Pocket Costs Are Only 11% of Total Medical Expenses

On November 13th, 2013 Journal of the American Medical Association issued an article entitled ‘The Anatomy of Healthcare in the United States’ detailing that patient out of pocket costs in the form of premium contributions, deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance actually decreased as a percent of overall healthcare spending since 1980.  This is at odds with the common perception that people are now paying more out-of-pocket than they ever have.  In fact 30 years ago, people paid twice as much out-of-pocket as they do now.

In 1980 people bore, on average, 23% of their own medical expenses.  Today it is 11%.  It is now the government and employers who have picked up an even larger share of healthcare costs since 1980.