Wall Street’s analysts met with health care policy wonks in Washington July 8 for a conference organized by the Center for Studying Health System Change, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
An industry newsletter called Healthcare BS reports that everyone agreed the flawed health care system is costing too much of our economic resources – estimated at 16.7 % of gross domestic product.
Here are some of the findings on dollars-and-cents issues:
- “Cost trends have ticked up, and so pricing is up about 1% on average in the individual and small-group market in 2009. This means higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs — all of which are expected to filter into the large-group market this year as employers set their benefits for 2010.”
- “Premium increases and benefit changes stem from two primary causes: medical spending inflation and cost shifting, panelists said. As hospitals’ payments from government insurance plans are cut, they pass along more costs to private insurance carriers, and in turn, employers are passing along their cost increases to their employees in higher premium contributions, copays and out-of-pocket maximums.”
- “The analysts noted that insurance brokers generally earn hefty commissions of between 20% and 25% of the premium in the first year and then half that amount in each renewal year, adding substantially to the cost of individual insurance. “
- “At the end of the day, everyone expressed a sincere desire to see the creation of an integrated health care delivery system that provides better care to more people at lower costs.”
And these were the money guys talking.