Drug Cost Increases Lead Health Stats

May 20, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The fastest growing component of health-care spending in 2000 were prescription drug charges, which skyrocketed 17% over the year, in comparison to hospital costs, up 5%, and physician services, up 6%.

Those were some of the highlights included in a recent update of a health care data book by the Kaiser Family Foundation called Trends and Indicators in the Changing Health care Marketplace 2002.

The survey also found that in 2000,

  • 67% of the non-elderly had employment-based insurance,
  • 10% were enrolled in Medicaid,
  • 8% had other insurance, and
  • 16% were uninsured

HMO enrollment in employer plans has dropped from 31% in 1996 to 23% in 2001, and PPO enrollment has increased from 28% to 48% over the same period.

In addition, premiums for employer-sponsored coverage are now growing at double-digit levels, increasing from 0.8% in 1996 to 11% in 2001.  Average annual 2001 premiums for employer-sponsored insurance were $2,650 for single coverage and $7,053 for family coverage, with employees paying about 15% and 27% of these amounts, respectively. 

While, overall US health spending increased to $1.3 trillion in 2000, up 7% from the year before, some still lack healthcare. In fact:

  • 9% of the uninsured reported postponing care,
  • 36% had no regular source of care, and
  • 20% reported not getting medical care for a serious condition

Copies of the data book are available on the Kaiser Family Foundation Web site .