Health Care Reform Memo: January 14, 2013

The big news last week was the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary report for 2011 national health spending: turns out overall spending increased only 3.9 percent. The good news: it’s the third year health spending overall came in under 4 percent vs. the decade prior when annual increases averaged 6 percent or higher. But “3.9 percent” doesn’t tell the full story nor does it make sense if you’re a small business facing double digit premium increases or a provider who’s seen reimbursement shrink. After all, it would seem costs have settled into a predictable range that, with creativity, are manageable—no harm, no foul.
As the famed Paul Harvey was fond of saying, here’s the rest of the story. Most of us with commercial insurance coverage will probably see much more than a 3.9 percent increase. Here’s why…

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