High Health Care Costs Affecting Insured U.S. Residents
Across the country, 64 million people younger than age 65 are part of families spending more than 10% of their pretax income on health care, according to a Families USA study, the Boston Globe reports. The study also found that about 19 million U.S. residents spend more than 25% of their income on health care.
The study found that Massachusetts -- despite its universal health care law -- has more than one million residents in families that spend more than 10% of their pretax income on health care. Of those people, 94% have health insurance. The number has increased by 46% since 2000, according to the Globe. In addition, the study found that almost 300,000 Massachusetts residents -- 90% of whom have health insurance -- are in families that will spend more than 25% of their pretax income on health care.
The study concludes that much of the increase in U.S. health care costs is linked to a growing use of prescription drugs and hospital care, new and more costly medical screenings and fewer consumer protections in the insurance market (Lazar, Boston Globe, 5/2).