Fragmented insurance system drives up health costs by 60%


Healthcare costs have risen by more than 60 percent between 2003 and 2011 and will likely continue growing unless the health insurance market is completely overhauled, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.

These ever-rising costs, which have reached $15,022 in less than 10 years for an average family to obtain insurance coverage, have grown five times faster than family incomes that have risen only 11 percent, Kaiser Health News reported.

"The U.S. health insurance system remains highly fragmented, marked by elevated spending on admin­istration and an inability or unwillingness to combat high health care costs in private insurance markets," the report found.

Meanwhile, deductibles more than doubled for consumers with employer-based coverage, meaning employees are paying more to receive fewer benefits. If costs keep increasing at this pace, the average family of four will pay about $25,000 a year for health insurance in 2020, reported NBC News.

The problem, according to the report, is wasteful and duplicative pricing throughout the private insurance market, reported The Hill's Healthwatch. "Within the private insurance market, prices paid for care have been rising rapidly and vary widely for the same service across states, and often for the same providers, depending on the source of insurance," the report concluded.

To learn more:
- here's the Commonwealth Fund report
- see the NBC News article
- check out The Hill's Healthwatch article
- read the Kaiser Health News article

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