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New Information about Private Medical Insurance

Valuable information about spiraling medical costs throughout the past few decades has been limited. This is partly due to the lack of data available. Statistics for Medicare and Medicaid have been widely available for study while data on private insurers has been anything but transparent. With such a large segment of the health economy in the United States being mostly hidden, it has been difficult to analyze trends and determine the cause of rampantly rising medical costs.

Recently a not-for-profit group in Washington D.C. called The Health Care Cost Institute was launched. The group will be responsible for analyzing large amounts of private insurance data from some of the largest health insurance companies in the United States such as Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente and United Healthcare. The group will release trend reports twice a year that should shed valuable information about rising medical costs.

Research from available data so far has suggested several possible culprits for rising costs. One of them is that the health system is poorly organized and fragmented. Current financial incentives also goad hospitals and doctors to do more medical procedures and tests in order to earn more money. Disclosure of private insurance data will do a lot to disclose how influential these causes actually are to rising medical costs.

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