KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Actuaries Project Health Law Will Boost Claims Costs 32 Percent

Although some states would see claims costs decline, the study by the Society of Actuaries forecasts that a majority will experience double-digit increases in the individual health insurance market. Officials in some states disputed the analysis, saying it was based on flawed data.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Study: Claims Costs That Drive Premiums Will Rise 32 Percent In Under Health Law
A new study finds that insurance companies will have to pay out an average of 32 percent more for medical claims under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. What does that mean for you? (3/27).

USA Today/The Associated Press: Study: Health Overhaul To Raise Claims Costs 32%
While some states will see medical claims costs per person decline, the report prepared by the Society of Actuaries concluded that the overwhelming majority will see double-digit increases in their individual health insurance markets, where people purchase coverage directly from insurers. The disparities are striking. By 2017, the estimated increase would be 62% for California, about 80% for Ohio, more than 20% for Florida and 67% for Maryland. Much of the reason for the higher claims costs is that sicker people are expected to join the pool, the report said (3/26).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: DC Officials Say Actuarial Study On Health Overhaul
Costs Uses Flawed Data
A study that shows medical claims costs will increase by more than 50 percent for District of Columbia residents under the federal health care overhaul is inaccurate in part because it dramatically overstates the number of city residents who lack insurance, district officials said Tuesday (3/26).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: State Official Disputes Study Citing Potential 67 Percent Hike In Medical Claims Costs
Medical claims costs in Maryland could jump 67 percent for residents' individual policies by 2017 under the federal health care overhaul, according to a study released Tuesday by the nation's leading group of financial risk analysts. But a Maryland official said the study is flawed, because it doesn't consider state-level policy decisions that will have a big impact on costs (3/26).

The Associated Press: Study: Health Overhaul To Increase Cost In Fla.
Medical claims costs — the biggest driver of health insurance premiums — could jump more than 20 percent for Floridian's individual policies under the federal health overhaul, according to a study by the nation's leading group of financial risk analysts. Uncertainty over costs associated with the Affordable Care Act has been a major concern among Florida's GOP-controlled Legislature (Schreiner, 3/26).

Meanwhile, another study looks at how health costs in the U.S. compare internationally -

Los Angeles Times: Survey: U.S. Medical Costs Top Other Developed Nations'
An average day in a U.S. hospital cost $4,287 last year. It was less than $1,000 in New Zealand, France, South Africa and Spain. That's one of several cost comparisons reported Tuesday in an annual report by the International Federation of Health Plans, an industry trade group. The London organization surveyed its member companies in 12 different countries to gauge the variation in medical prices (Terhune, 3/26).

Modern Healthcare: Health Costs Significantly Higher In The U.S., Report Finds
Private insurers in the U.S. last year paid significantly more—up to 26 times as much in one case—for common procedures, hospital and doctor visits and prescriptions when compared with private and public insurers in 10 other countries, a report shows. The report, by the International Federation of Health Plans (PDF), did find a few instances where average prices paid in other countries mostly matched those of the U.S., but such occurrences were rare. Instead, U.S. private insurance prices widely exceeded those of other countries (Evans, 3/26).

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