Report: Health care costs top benchmark in Massachusetts

DATE : September 07, 2016

An analysis is a mixed bag for consumers struggling to keep up with premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

BOSTON — Health care expenses totaled $57 billion in Massachusetts last year and the rate of increase was once again higher than what state officials had hoped for, according to a new report on Wednesday that nonetheless pointed to some encouraging developments in the fight to rein in soaring medical costs.

The Center for Health Information and Analysis said in its annual review of the state’s health care system that total costs – both private and public – rose in 2015 by 3.9 percent over the previous year.

The growth rate exceeded the 3.6 percent benchmark that was established by the state’s Health Policy Commission under the guidelines of a 2012 cost containment law. It was also well above last year’s .06 percent inflation rate.

The center, also created by the 2012 law, pegged per capita health care costs at $8,424 per resident, up from $8,010 in 2014.

Overall, the report presented a mixed bag of sorts for Massachusetts consumers struggling to keep up with ever-rising health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment.

Read more at The Associated Press...

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