Out-of-Pocket Costs Increased Slightly Over the Last Year, Study Finds
Out-of-pocket costs increased only slightly over the last year, despite some predictions that they would increase significantly under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study published Tuesday in Health Affairs, The Hill reports.
The study -- which included data from about 15,000 physicians -- was conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The study found that the amount patients spent per physician visit -- including copayments and deductibles -- increased by 3.5%, or about $1. However, deductibles increased by about $8 on average for all types of visits.
Although the authors warned that rising costs could cause some patients to skip care, the costs did not increase as much as some ACA critics had predicted. Kathy Hempstead, director of coverage issues at RWJF, called it as a "moderate increase," adding that it is "consistent with low overall price increases for health care services that have been reported elsewhere" (Ferris, The Hill, 7/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.