A new study published this month by the National Institute of Health Care Management found that from 2006-2015, out-of-pocket spending on health care increased 24 percent while median personal income increased only 17 percent.
The study tracked health care spending across all sectors of the health care system.
Researchers found that health care costs are on the rise across the country and everyone is bearing the burden, not just patients, but also hospitals and insurance companies.
For instance, private insurance spending increased by 48 percent and Medicaid 72 percent, averaging out to about a 40 percent increase in per capita personal health spending.
Most of the costs are going up because going to the hospital and doctor is more expensive than it used to be. After 2014, prescription drug costs also began to skyrocket contributing to higher health care costs.
But here’s the crazy thing: despite the fact that your out-of-pocket costs have likely risen, the total average percentage you are paying for your health care has fallen on about 3 percent. It’s just that health care is just that much more expensive now.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.