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Rising Health Care Costs are Unsustainable

The cost of insurance premiums and employee medical claims is at an all time high and continues to rise. Business leaders are being called upon to make changes at the workplace in order to curb rising costs. Many are turning to workplace health programs to help employees adopt healthier lifestyles and lower their risk of developing costly chronic diseases.

National Health Expenditures
  • In 2007, national health care expenditures in the United States totaled $2.2 trillion or 16% of its gross domestic product, a 14% increase from 2000.3 This represents an average of more than $7,400 per person
  • Each year in the United States, chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes cause 7 in 10 deaths and account for about 75% of the $2 trillion spent on medical care9
    • In 2009, the economic costs of cardiovascular diseases and stroke were estimated at $475.3 billion, including $313.8 billion in direct medical expenses and $161.5 billion in indirect costs ($39.1 in lost productivity due to sickness or disability and $122.4 lost productivity due to premature death)10
    • In 2007, medical costs attributed to diabetes included $27 billion for care to directly treat diabetes, $58 billion to treat diabetes-related chronic complications attributable to diabetes, and $31 billion in excess general medical costs11
    • In 2008, the estimated health care costs related to obesity were $147 billion12
  • Personal health expenditures which include such services as physician visits, hospital care, dental care, prescription drugs, and nursing home care accounted for 84% of national health care expenditures in 20073
  • Private health insurance paid for 36% of these personal health expenditures3
Employer Coverage and Costs
  • In 2007, private health insurance obtained through the workplace for individuals less than 65 years of age was the major source of insurance covering 157.9 million people or 61.6% of the population3
  • Since 2000, health insurance premiums for a typical family of four have increased by 114% proving costly for both employers and employees 4
  • Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored coverage are $5,049 for single coverage and $13,770 for family coverage in 20104
  • In 2006, employers spent nearly $87.6 billion on workers’ compensation, but this represents only a portion of the total work-related injury and illness costs borne by employers, workers, and society overall, including cost-shifting to other insurance systems, as we as most costs of work-related illness14
Employee Costs
  • Workers on average contribute $694 annually toward the cost of single coverage and $3,281 annually toward the cost of family coverage4
  • Since 2000, annual worker contributions have increased by $293 for single coverage and by $1,354 for family coverage13
  • Individual employees also pay for health care services through deductibles, co-payments, or coinsurance4

Example - Employee Health Concern: Heart Disease and Stroke

  • Four of the top ten most expensive health conditions to U.S. employers are related to heart disease and stroke (high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, and chest pain)15
  • In one study analyzing employee health insurance claims of large businesses, the annual mean payment for those with heart-related claims was more than double the average payment of claims for all other conditions16
 

Contact Us:
  • Division of Population Health/Workplace Health Promotion
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    4770 Buford Highway, Northeast, Mailstop K-45
    Atlanta, GA 30341
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC-INFO
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
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