Doctors, hospitals, drug companies and testing companies contribute much more to total U.S. health care spending than insurers do.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington, is making that argument in a new, national television campaign that it hopes will cause policymakers to look harder at all of the factors driving health care costs higher.
In the 30-second “Pie” ad, AHIP asks, “What’s inside the health care cost pie?”
Health insurance companies’ costs make up just 4% of the pie, and doctors, hospitals, medicines and tests all are responsible for much bigger “slices,” AHIP says.
“And a government report says their rising prices are a primary driver of health care costs,” AHIP says. “If Washington wants to make health care more affordable they need to look at the whole health care pie not just a slice.”
AHIP also has put out a “Fact Check” bulletin responding to allegations that lack of competition in the health insurance market has been driving up U.S. health care and health insurance prices.
In all 40 of the biggest markets, customers can choose from a list of at least 8 health insurers, AHIP says.
In addition, some of the markets with the least health insurer competition also have the lowest health care costs, AHIP says.
A report by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice based on hearings held in 2002 and 2003 found that hospital concentration seemed to be responsible for high hospital prices, and concentration in hospital markets has been increasing rapidly in recent years, the group adds.