Once you see these prices, you won’t wonder why America is on track to spend 20 percent of its GDP on health care by 2025.
A new report illustrates in graphic terms how health insurers in the United States routinely pay higher — often much higher — prices for certain prescription drugs and common surgeries than those in other developed countries.
The report, issued by the insurance industry group International Federation of Health Plans, notes that a normal delivery of a baby in the United States has an average cost to insurers of more than $10,800. That’s five times what a major insurer pays in Spain for the same kind of a delivery, and more than twice what a major insurer pays in Australia. And some insurers in the U.S. are paying $18,000 or more per normal delivery, the report noted.
And U.S. insurers on average pay nearly $2,670 for a month’s supply of the rheumatoid arthritis medication Humira. That’s about twice what major insurers in the United Kingdom and Spain pay, and three times what an insurer in Switzerland pays.
The head of the federation said the disparities seen between prices in the U.S. and the six other countries examined in the report indicates that competition between American health providers has failed to control costs for consumers, as it has in other business sectors.
“You’re paying higher prices for exactly the same unit of care. … It suggests that the market just is not working,” said Tom Sackville, the federation’s chief executive. “Your whole competition structure doesn’t seem to apply in health care.”
Connie’s comments: My home birth in San Jose CAlifornia with a nurse midwife only costs $2500 and my 80-yr old mom’s arthritis is helped by turmeric, ginger, exercise, fish and veggies, lemon grass, garlic and whole foods.