Even as the economy expanded before the recession, the number of households that found medical costs a financial burden grew, a newly published study said. “Thus, a return to strong economic growth and low unemployment by itself will not necessarily reduce the financial burden of healthcare for most Americans,” wrote Peter Cunningham, a senior fellow at the Center for Studying Health System Change, who authored the study published online in the policy journal Health Affairs.
More households burdened by care costs: study
In 2006, almost one in five households, or 19.1%, spent more than 10% of family income on healthcare, continuing a steady climb from 16.4% two years earlier and 14.4% in 2001, the research found. Income stagnated but household spending on healthcare and insurance premiums rose 8.5% between 2004 and 2006, according to the study.
Rising insurance premiums fueled increases in out-of-pocket spending by those insured through an employer during the two-year period. Of those, 18.4% spent more than 10% of family income on healthcare in 2006 compared with15.1% in 2004.
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