The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association recently released to the public its illuminating annual medical cost reference guide. According to the Association’s press release,
- Healthcare expenditures in the U.S. represent a greater percentage of Gross Domestic Product than in any other country. At 2.2 trillion, or 16.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product, the 2006 U.S. National Health Expenditures dwarf other major sectors of the economy – and they are projected to represent as much as 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2015.
- The government – primarily through public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid – continues to be the largest payer for healthcare, bearing almost half of the total costs. Private health insurance accounts for a little more than one-third of the total.
- The majority of the U.S. population, 68.6 percent, is covered by private health insurance. Of the U.S. population, 59.5 percent are covered by employer-based private insurance and 9.1 percent are covered by direct-purchase private insurance.
- The U.S. healthcare system continues its transformation to focus more on the wants and needs of consumers and consumers are responding. For example, eight in ten Internet users go online for health information. More than half of consumers who use the Internet have utilized features from their health insurer’s online Web site.
Check it out!