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The Hidden Costs of U.S. Health Care for Consumers

New study explores financial implications of the health care industry on households

Consumers spent $363* billion, or 14.7 percent, more for health care goods and services in 2009 than is captured in official government accounts. These out-of-pocket (OOP) medical costs include products and services not covered by insurance programs, purchases that are outside of conventional therapies and treatments, and care for others, which accounts for $199 billion of the total.

Out-of-pocket health care costs are a substantial and increasing burden; among the hardest-hit consumers are those with medical problems, seniors, and caregivers. Consumers are concerned about these costs and are acting to avoid higher exposure.

“The Hidden Costs of U.S. Health Care for Consumers: A Comprehensive Analysis,” a new study jointly conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, provides an important view of how consumers engage today in purchasing health care products and services.

Explore the research in more detail below.

* Note: Inclusive of estimates of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). The extent and composition of the CAM sector is not well established, thus if certain categories of CAM are excluded, the figure is $358 billion.

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Executive Summary

 

Executive Summary: The Hidden Costs of U.S. Health Care for Consumers: A Comprehensive Analysis
This study was designed to gauge the total costs that U.S. consumers bear in funding health care products and services, with the hypothesis that consumers spend more out of pocket than is typically reported in insurance industry or government reports.

 

Methodology

 

Methodology: The Hidden Costs of U.S. Health Care for Consumers: A Comprehensive Analysis
This study was commissioned research, undertaken on behalf of Deloitte by Oxford Economics in 2010, and draws upon NHEA data. In addition, data is reported from a separate phone survey of 1,008 adult U.S. consumers conducted by Harris Interactive in September -October 2010.

 

Study Highlights

 

Study Highlights: The Hidden Costs of U.S. Health Care for Consumers: A Comprehensive Analysis
By identifying and mapping cost areas outside of the NHEA, the resultant combined dataset represents a broader picture of the health care sector in 2009. This final dataset estimated total expenditure by payment source, age group, family income, and family size for each health service area.

 

Implications

 

Implications: The Hidden Costs of U.S. Health Care for Consumers: A Comprehensive Analysis
View key implications of this new study for key stakeholders.

 

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