Did you know...?

Did you know: How much the United States spends on health care?
The U.S. health care price tag in 2009 was $2.5 trillion 2009. National health care spending will likely reach $4.6 trillion by 2020.1 Health care costs and premiums go hand-in-hand. If costs go up, so do your premiums.
Did you know: Only three cents of every premium dollar is profit?
Roughly 87 cents of every premium dollar you pay is spent on care and services that members get. These include doctor visits, hospital costs, drugs and more.2 Then, 10 cents goes to things like claims processing, billing, doctor credentialing. That leaves three cents of every dollar for profits. So, when premiums go up, it's not because we're taking a bigger chunk.
Did you know: Inflation is a key driver of the high and rising cost of health care?
We spend more today on a gallon of milk than we did 20 years ago. Well, we also spend more for the same health services than in years past. A BusinessWeek article on rising health care costs showed rising health care prices are outpacing general inflation. It's causing 51% of the growth in health care spending.
Did you know: Technology is a key driver of health spending?
No doubt, modern health care is amazing and helps save lives. Today, there are better tests, machines and drugs. These may cause as much as half to two-thirds of spending growth.3
Did you know: Specialty drugs are part of high and rising health care costs?
Drugs that are used for unique reasons can save and make people live longer. But they cost much more than other drugs. A new cancer drug can cost $100,000 or more for each person who uses it.4
Did you know: Health care fraud and abuse causes 3% of health care spending?
About $68 billion (or 3% of all health care spending) is lost to health care fraud each year - that's more than $180 million per day.5
Did you know: More care isn't necessarily better care?
Reasonable prices for care is one of the ways we help keep costs low for our members. The savings we get for our members save millions of dollars on health care every year. We want to make sure doctors can operate at a profit - but also keep health care costs at a level that's right for our members.6
Did you know: Eating habits relate to the rising cost of health care?
More obesity, smoking, drug problems, poor eating and not being active enough cause a real rise in the use of (and spending on) health care services.7 Because of these things, there's more ongoing health problems - which can be as much as 75% of the money spent on health care in this country each year.8 Loss of productivity due to obesity may be as much as health care costs for it. Those costs among full-time workers in the U.S. is $73.1 billion per year.9
Did you know: Errors in health care cost the U.S. $19.5 billion in 2008?
Bed sores - considered to be the result of an error - were the largest yearly error cost (close to $3.9 billion), followed by infections after surgery ($3.7 billion), device complications ($1.1 billion), failed spinal surgery ($1.1 billion) and hemorrhages ($960 million).10
Did you know: Defensive medicine leads to wasteful health care spending?
An estimated $1.2 trillion of the $2.2 trillion spent on health care in the US is wasteful. Much of this is due to redundancies and tests and procedures that aren't needed.11
Did you know: One out of every five in this country visits the emergency room?
20% of people in the U.S. visited an emergency room at least once in 2007. The cost of a trip to the emergency room that year was $1038. Since 1996, use of emergency services in the U.S. has been steadily rising, while the number of emergency rooms across the country has decreased.12 So many of these are not emergencies and can be handled in other settings. This drives up cost, and crowds a needed service.
Did you know: Prescription drug sales reach $880 billion in 2011?
Money earned on drug sales around the world is about 5 - 7% more this year than last.13
Did you know: Diabetes costs $83 billion a year or 23% of total hospital spending?14
Diabetes affects nearly 25 million in this country.15 Also, the yearly cost is $174 billion, $116 billion of which is in actual health care costs. That figure is will likely go up by two or three by 2050, with one in every three people in the U.S. suffering from it.16
Did you know: Nearly $50 billion will be spent on Information Technology to satisfy software and billing code mandates?
Forrester Research expects the U.S. health-information market to spend nearly $50 billion over the next two years as doctors and hospitals are faced with federal mandates to upgrade software and switch to new billing codes.17
  1. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary, 2011 - cms.gov.
  2. PriceWaterhouseCoopers medical cost trend report for 2009.
  3. High and Rising Health Care Costs: Demystifying U.S. Health Care Spending, Sarah Goodell and Paul Ginsburg.
  4. Kaiser Family Foundation and Sonderegger Research Center.
  5. The National Health Care Anti-fraud Association.
  6. Assessment conducted of RAND Corp. studies over the last 10 years.
  7. PriceWaterhouseCoopers, The Factors Fueling Rising Health Care Costs 2008.
  8. Health Affairs, Thorpe, et al.
  9. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, October 2010 study.
  10. The Economic Measurement of Medical ErrorsThe Society of Actuaries in its June 2010 study. The study is based on claims data.
  11. April 2008 180° Health Forum in Washington, DC, hosted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Results were published in The Price of Excess: Identifying Waste in Healthcare Spending.
  12. Emergency Department Visitors and Visits: Who Used the Emergency Room in 2007, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHC) report, May 2010.
  13. IMS Health (a drug data firm), report released October 2010.
  14. An August 2010 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) report.
  15. American Diabetes Association
  16. Population Health Metrics, Centers for Disease Control report, October 2010.
  17. Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2010.