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February 13, 2019

Report: CT health spending above average

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Per-person expenditures on medical and pharmacy claims in Connecticut rose to $6,232 in 2017, up 17 percent over a five-year period, according to the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI).

Connecticut’s 2017 spending was higher than the national average of $5,641, which was up 16.7 percent since 2013, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit said.

The data includes 40 million claims, which HCCI collected from four major health insurers -- Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare.

The data only includes people who receive health insurance through their employer, whether through a group plan or an administrative-services-only plan. It doesn’t include government-provided insurance.

The spending figures include payments by insurers as well as out-of-pocket payments by patients. Across the country, HCCI said higher prices -- not patients using more services (known as “utilization”) -- drove the spending increases.

Meanwhile, prices in Connecticut rose 18.5 percent between 2013 and 2017, compared with 17.1 percent nationally, HCCI said.

Meanwhile, utilization fell 1.1 percent here, while it was virtually flat nationally.

Nationally, prescription drugs have been the highest and fastest-growing cost, HCCI said. However, its prescription drug spending data reflects only point-of-sale prices, and doesn’t account for manufacturer rebates. HCCI said that information isn’t available.

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