“Health-care costs are no longer escaping the nation’s fastest rate of inflation in four decades,” Rachel Roubein writes over at The Washington Post. “Prices for medical services in September rose 6.5 percent compared with a year ago, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released yesterday. The increase — which analysts expect to continue in the coming months — is sure to hit Americans’ pocketbooks, particularly the nearly 155 million people with employer-sponsored coverage. The pinch will likely come in the form of higher premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs in the coming months, multiple experts told The Health 202. The dynamic poses a major challenge for President Biden and Democrats, which have centered their party platform on lowering costs for Americans. ‘Policymakers should be very concerned about what this means for people’s ability to get health care, and also the medical debt that they’ll be carrying over time,’ said Sara Collins, a vice president at the Commonwealth Fund, an independent health-care research group. … The economy is seeing little reprieve with overall prices rising at a pace of 8.2 percent compared with last September — a slight slowdown from the summer peak but still at highs not seen in roughly 40 years, The Post’s Rachel Siegel reports. Back in January, we wrote that price increases for medical services had been relatively modest — at least so far. Prices for medical services in January were up 2.5 percent from a year prior. But experts told us that could change in a couple months, warning that inflationary pressures would almost certainly hit the health-care sector. They were right.” Rachel Roubein, “Steep inflation is hitting the medical sector, too,” The Washington Post.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder