• How healthcare costs in New Hampshire have risen

    The New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies published earlier in 2011 an analysis of healthcare costs in the state entitled Health Care 101: Health Care Finance in New Hampshire. The study was funded by the Endowment for Health.

    The evidence portrayed in this study proves that the Certificate of Need (CON) process hasn’t done much to improve the cost of healthcare whether you are an individual or a family.

    New Hampshire, I believe, is a prime example of the ills of healthcare today. New Hampshire healthcare is primarily hospital driven, with little competition between healthcare providers.  Lack of competition and the lack of checks and balances allow the healthcare system in New Hampshire to be devoid of all laws of economics that promote higher quality and lower costs.

    The good news in New Hampshire is that the employers are still allowed to offer health insurance through cost sharing with employees.

    Based upon this study, the financial burden will cripple businesses and families because of the inflation of healthcare costs.

    Here are some figures in the study:

    Average family health insurance premiums rose from about $7,500 in 2000 to about $13,750 in 2009 and trend about $1,000 more than the national average.

    Healthcare spending: In 2000, total personal healthcare spending (all payers) totaled $5.2 billion. In 2011, it is expected to be $10.4 billion and in 2018 $16.4 billion. That’s something like a 15% plus increase a year.

    In 2000, personal healthcare spending was 11.7% of the Gross State Product. In 2011 it is expected to rise to 16.4% and in 2018 to 19.6%.

    Burden of insurance on household income:  the average family health insurance premium as % of mean family income in New Hampshire was 10.2% in 2000 and 15.4% in 2009. By county, the ratio ranged from 12.8% in Rockingham County to 22% in Coos County.

    Hospital capital spending: between 2000 and 2011, New Hampshire hospitals are forecasted to spend $1.36 billion in construction projects. (The Valley News reported that between 1980 and 2000, the average annual cost of hospital construction approved by the state was $49 million. But since 2000, that average has ballooned to $113 million.)

    Employer-based coverage: Of 578,000 private sector employees, 307,000 enrolled in their employer’s health plan. These included 67% of all full-time employees and 8% of all part-time employees.  Only 10% of private sector employees work for employers that do not offer health insurance to any employee.


    1 comment September 27, 2011