Summary:   Health care costs for an average U.S. family stole any gains in real income during the past decade. Higher deductible health insurance plans combined with a strategy to maintain health are one way to win the battle. TrekDesk treadmill desks can help.


Health Care Costs Rising

A recent study has uncovered a sobering fact about the escalating costs of health care, it actually wiped out any gains in income made in the past decade for an average American family. Staying healthy just keeps getting more expensive.  TrekDesk treadmill desks offer a health solution to lower the costs for employers and employees alike.

The study, published in Health Affairs, showed that an average American family of four with employer based health insurance experienced an income increase from $76,000 in 1999 to $99,000 in 2009 (in current dollars). That’s a 30% jump. Great right? Unfortunately this gain was offset almost entirely by the rising costs of health care that came directly out of employee’s pockets. The study found that this average American family only saw an increase of $95 more in monthly discretionary income. Had the cost of health care only risen at the rate of inflation the family would have had $545 more per month or $5,400 more per year in discretionary income.

The authors of the study David Auerbach and Arthur Kellerman are sounding the alarm bell, “the burdens imposed on all payers by steadily rising health care spending can no longer be ignored.”

Health care spending in 2009 represented 17.6% of our nation’s GDP with a per capita cost of more than $8,000.

Are costs rising because the rate of disease is escalating? The increased rates of chronic disease are a factor, however a study by Roehrig and Rousseau found that the increases are due to “cost per case” increases “rather than rising disease prevalence” by a factor of 3:1.

Health care reform needs to focus more on “cost per case”, driving down employer’s insurance costs, but employees have a stake in this as well. 84% of health insurance claims are related to lack of exercise and poor lifestyle choices. That has to stop as well. We are on an unsustainable collision course that threatens our nation’s health and economic well being. We have to offer more opportunities for movement in the work place.