Children’s Healthcare Costs Blazing Past AdultsHealing, Prevention Friday, July 13th, 2012
According to a report released last week by the non-partisan research organization Health Care Cost Institute, healthcare costs for Americans under the age of 18 have risen 18.6% since 2007, significantly more than costs for the rest of the population.
Healthcare Costs Blazing Past Adults, Much in the Form of ‘Regular’ Checkups
The data in the report is based on one of the largest collections of private health insurance claims data ever assembled, including over three billion claims from Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare – three of the country’s largest insurers. While the fees for adult outpatient visits increased a hefty 10%, the most dramatic increase in price in any healthcare sector was for childrens’ outpatient visits, the regular checkups that are most likely to ensure our children remain healthy and thus avoid the need for more expensive care later. The cost of these visits has increased by 34.4% in the past four years. This is nearly six times the rate of inflation, which stands at 5.2%.
This is particularly disturbing considered alongside the fact that during the same four year time period, the percentage of commercially-insured children dropped 5.7% from nearly 44 million in 2007 to 41.4 million in 2010. In 2011, 9.8% of children in the U.S. were completely uninsured. In the subsequent age bracket, 18-24 year olds, the percentage of those left to cover healthcare costs completely out of pocket climbed to 27.2%.
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