Filed Under:Health Insurance, Individual Health

The Falloff in Utilization: "There's Something Happening Here, What It Is Ain't Exactly Clear" (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Health costs are cyclical in nature. Per capita health spending goes up and down. The period from 2006 to 2010 saw modest increases between 6% and 3% – the longest period of moderation on record. This could be the effects of a weak economic recovery or, perhaps, growth in cost-sharing and high-deductible plans. Workers in a plan with a $1,000 deductible or more went from 18% in 2008 to 31% in 2011 and from 35% to 50% in smaller firms. Out-of-pocket spending has not gone up as a share of overall health spending, but it has gone up relative to wages. Could it be possible that the recession in combination with high-deductible health plans have caused people to use less health care? 

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