: Healthcare inflation is the latest price hike hitting consumers grappling with rising costs

by | Aug 25, 2022 | Stock Market

Over the past year, healthcare has been a relative bright spot in a bleak inflation picture–but now that may be changing, recent research shows.  While overall healthcare inflation remains well below the rate of economy-wide price growth, a look under the hood shows prices rising sharply for some major categories of health services and payer types, with further increases expected in the coming year. The acceleration in healthcare inflation is the latest price hike to hit the American consumer and could further complicate the Federal Reserve’s battle to bring rising prices under control.  

Breaking down July data by payer type, for example, nonprofit research and consulting group Altarum found that prices for care paid by private insurance jumped a full percentage point from the previous month and climbed 5.4% from January 2021 levels, even as Medicare prices for similar services fell over those periods. Private insurance prices for hospital services jumped 7.2% from early 2021 through July. Altarum expects another significant jump in private prices next year, as healthcare companies signal that 2023 price negotiations are in many cases favoring providers.  Early rate filings for 2023 Affordable Care Act marketplace plans, meanwhile, show that insurers are seeking steeper premium hikes than in recent years, with a median proposed increase of 10%, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of filings in 13 state …

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