The price of health insurance is rising…but not as fast as goods and services

Health insurance - Cost - Medical

Despite its growth rate of 20 percent, it is being outpaced by national average goods and services prices.

Though higher health insurance prices hardly came as a surprise this year, given the rising price of essentially everything these days, what wasn’t quite expected was that the cost of a plan didn’t rise as fast as the average price of goods and services across the United States.

What has yet to be seen is what the impact of rising goods and services prices will eventually have.

Since health insurance doesn’t exist in a vacuum, many experts are now wondering about the impact of rapidly rising goods and services prices on the cost of coverage. Some are wondering if it will eventually kick in and shove the price of coverage even higher. It should be noted that premiums have increased faster than other categories of medical care prices. Still, the fact that the growth rate remained lower than the average for goods and services across the nation broke with typical pricing patterns.

Health insurance - Premiums - medical coverage

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) researchers assessed prices for medical care and overall goods and services, revealing this interesting coverage cost trend. The BLS data was made available through its consumer price index (CPI) and the producer price index (PPI).

One thing is for certain, inflation is pushing health insurance and all prices overall in an upward direction.

Still, medical prices and overall price increases seemed to have swapped trends for the moment. Usually, medical prices grow notably more quickly than the average overall prices across the country. However, the data clearly shows that from 2021 to 2022, overall prices grew more quickly than medical prices.

Urban consumers saw a 5.0 percent spike in medical prices according to CPI data, becoming the largest rate of growth in 20 years, after having previously seen the lowest change (1.3 percent). That said, overall goods and services experienced a much higher rate of change, spiking by 6.2 percent from 2021 to 2022 when compared to 1.2 percent growth the year before. The CPI for all urban consumers this year reached a two-decade high at 7.7 percent.

The last twenty years have brought a growth rate of 110.1 percent for medical prices, including health insurance costs, medical services, equipment and more. On the other hand, the average goods and services price during that time rose by 71.3 percent.

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