State’s health care spending affecting your insurance costs

The state's healthcare costs are among some of the highest in the country.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– The state’s healthcare costs are among some of the highest in the country. 22News found out why some anticipate those numbers will continue to rise and how that could impact how much you pay for your next health insurance policy.

This week the Center for Health Information Analysis released a report that is the first of its kind. In it, they estimate the state spent more than $50 billion in 2013 on total health care expenditures.

Samantha Parker, from West Springfield, was surprised to hear that total. “Yeah that definitely sounds like a lot, I don’t really know anything about the subject too much, but that definitely sounds like a little bit too much money right there,” Parker said.

Dr. Thomas Ebert, Chief Medical Officer for Health New England told 22News now that the state knows how much it is spending, it can better understand what is driving that spending.

The report shows that 60% of the total went to the cost of government programs like Medicare, which are in large part funded by you, the taxpayer.

Dr. Ebert also told 22News the state’s health care costs are likely going to continue to rise as medical treatments and technologies improve. “And new treatments in particular are these very very expensive drugs, are going to actually be independent drivers of cost,” Dr. Ebert said.

With rising costs to the state, Dr. Ebert says they are likely to mandate higher insurance rates down the road. He anticipates that will especially affect employer health insurance packages for small businesses.

Dr. Ebert says if your employer does make changes to meet new rate demands, you may notice some new limitations in your benefits that could be important to your individual health care needs.

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