8 key stats on medical bills, healthcare prices and out-of-pocket spending

Here are eight statistics to know covering medical bills, healthcare prices and out-of-pocket spending.

Medical bills

1. A large medical bill ranks among Americans' top healthcare worries. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll of 1,201 U.S. adults found two-thirds of respondents are either "very worried" or "somewhat worried" about being able to afford unexpected medical bills for them or their family. Fifty-three percent of insured respondents report they are worried about being able to afford their health insurance deductible, and more than 40 percent of respondents report they are worried about affording prescription drugs.

2. Many Americans have received an unexpected medical bill. A survey of more than 1,000 people conducted at the University of Chicago found 57 percent of respondents  had received a medical bill they thought would be covered by insurance.The most common services they were charged for were physician services and laboratory tests.

3. Americans are increasingly turning to crowdfunding for medical bills. GoFundMe, an online fundraising and crowdfunding platform, reportsit has built a community of more than 50 million donors and helped raise more than $5 billion over its eight-year history. According to GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon, 1 in 3 of the website's campaigns are medical fundraisers.

Healthcare prices

4. Healthcare prices vary for employees insured through their jobs. An analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute, an independent, nonprofit research panel partially funded by four insurers, found prices in 2016 were below the national average in 86 of the 112 metro areas studied. But prices were significantly higher than the national average in some metro areas, including San Francisco (49 percent above the national average). 

5. Overall, healthcare prices grew 2 percent in the second quarter of 2018, up from 1.75 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to an analysis from nonprofit health systems research and consulting organization Altarum.

Out-of-pocket spending

6. Average out-of-pocket spending continued to climb in 2017, according to a report from global think tank JPMorgan Chase Institute. The report — which examined data on 4.7 million Chase customers ages 18-64 in 23 states between January 2013 and December 2017 — found average annual out-of-pocket healthcare spending climbed 8.5 percent in 2017 compared to the year prior. That represents the fastest increase since 2014.

7. The report from JPMorgan Chase Institute also found patients in Utah faced the highest out-of-pocket healthcare costs in 2017 compared to the 22 other states studied.  

8. Many families have delayed care due to affordability and are concerned about their ability to cover medical expenses, according to a survey commissioned by AccessOne. The survey, which involved 693 U.S. adults with at least $35,000 in annual household, found 27 percent of respondents with children said they delayed care in the last two years because they couldn't afford it.


More articles on healthcare finance:

California voters defeat initiative to put brakes on dialysis profits
New York hospital to invest $60K in security after media investigation
New Jersey bill aims to clarify out-of-network billing rules: 5 things to know


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