Total U.S. private health insurance premium expenditures increased more slowly in 2006 than overall national health expenditures increased.
Researchers with the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have included figures supporting that conclusion in a health care spending report published in Health Affairs, a health policy journal.
The analysis of the 2006 figures is the latest analys available from the CMS Office of the Actuary.
Spending on private health insurance premiums rose 5.3% in 2006, to $722 billion, the researchers at the office report.
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Total U.S. health care spending increased 6.7%, to about $2.1 trillion, up from rate of increase of 6.5% in 2005, the CMS researchers write.
The 2006 health care spending total averaged $7,026 per person and amounted to 16% of the U.S. gross domestic product.
Despite reports about employers trying to shift more responsibility for paying for care to employees, consumers’ out-of-pocket health care spending increased just 3.8% in 2006, to about $256 billion, according to the CMS researchers.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington, says the new national health expenditure report shows health insurance premiums grew at their slowest rate in 2006 since 1997.