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Healthcare costs continue to spike in February

Posted On Wed, April 25, 2012

S&P Indices recently released a report showing that healthcare services witnessed a significant average per capita rise during February.

The S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index showed that the healthcare cost average rose to 5.75 percent over the year ending in February. This is significantly higher than the previous month's year-to-date rate of 5.23 percent.

"We observed further acceleration in healthcare costs annual growth rates in February," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. "In keeping with the trends seen since the second half of 2011, February data signaled a general upward trend in healthcare costs, as measured by annual rates of change."

When looking at specifics, the Commercial index rose by a rate of 7.73 percent during February, which was higher than January's rate of 7.09 percent, according to the report. In addition, the Medicare Index was at a rate of 2.72 percent, higher than January's 2.39 percent. Furthermore, the Professional Services index increased to a rate of 5.71 percent, while the Hospital Index rose to a rate of 5.52 percent - both higher than January.

"Last month's data, which was through January 2012, had shown a slight deceleration in most types of healthcare costs, but this was likely an anomaly in the actual trend," Blitzer added. "Over the past eight months or so, annual rates of change in per capita healthcare costs have generally been rising."

If a person is feeling the pressures of rising health insurance costs from their insurer, it could be time to look for a more affordable plan. Consumers who take their current policy and compare it with multiple health insurance quotes may be able to find a plan that is inexpensive and fits their needs.

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