(AP Photo/Henrik Montgomery)

These days, health policymakers — even policymakers who call themselves consumer advocates or patient advocates — recommend controlling health care costs by giving patients more “skin in the game.”

Many of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchange plans try to use that strategy, by requiring enrollees who fail to qualify for subsidies to get policies with annual out-of-pocket maximums as high as $12,000 per household.

Now eCreditDaily has looked at a report from TransUnion and found that the consumer credit well may be running dry.

U.S. patients who went to the hospital emerged with an average of $2,568 in out-of-pocket costs in the second quarter, up from $1,862 in the second quarter of 2012, according to eCreditDaily.

The out-of-pocket costs amounted to 7.6 percent of total revolving credit capacity, up from 5.3 percent of capacity a year earlier – and, of course, many patients had already maxed out their credit before they got their hospital bills.

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