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Rising cost of private insurance unsustainable for 180 million families, study finds

A research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine highlights the increasing unaffordability of private health insurance for American families, with average costs rising from $3,920 to $4,907 between 2007 and 2019. Click here for article.

  • The study found that total healthcare spending, including premiums, copays, and out-of-pocket expenses, significantly burdens 180 million families, particularly those with low incomes.

  • From 2007 to 2019, the financial medical burden increased from 8.4% to 9.8% of post-subsistence income for all families, and from 23.5% to 26.4% for low-income families with private insurance.

  • The authors call for policy improvements to regulate premiums and control medical costs, especially for families below the poverty line, emphasizing that stronger financial safeguards are needed.

  • Contributing factors to rising costs include an aging population, drug costs, healthcare service mergers, and increased profits for insurers, suggesting the need for income-based subsidies, better drug price negotiation, and enhanced antitrust scrutiny.

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