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Health Care Spending Grew 3.4% in 2014; More Dollars Going to Brand Drugs

Spending on health care for the privately insured in the United States grew at a steady rate over the past 5 years, increasing 3.4% in 2014, according to the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI).

Use of health care services continued to fall in 2014, while prices for all categories of services continued to rise.

Despite a nearly 16% decrease in use of brand prescriptions, spending on these prescriptions jumped by $45 per capita in 2014, an increase four times larger than in 2013.

Much of this increase was due to use of high-priced hepatitis C drugs Olysio®, Sovaldi®, and Harvoni®, which became available starting in late 2013.

HCCI's 2014 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report analyzes the health care spending trends for Americans younger than age 65 and covered by employer-sponsored insurance for the years 2010 through 2014, and provides a detailed look at components of health care cost growth for 2014.

Over the 5-year study period, per capita spending growth was relatively steady, rising between 3% and 4% in each year. In 2014, health care spending averaged $4,967 per person, up $163 (3.4%) from the year before. Out-of-pocket spending grew 2.2% to $810.

Visit the Health Care Cost Institute Inc. Website, for more information.

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