RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — You’ve noticed groceries and gas are getting more expensive, but what about hospital visits?
A new report says out-of-pocket or co-pay costs both for families and individuals are going up year after year.
This is along with overall premium costs for employers who help cover or sponsor of employees’ health insurance plans.
A non-profit research organization, The Altrium Institute, analyzed 2021 Virginia Healthcare spending.
The report says these surges are happening even as overall healthcare spending is below the national average.
Julian Walker is with The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.
Walker explained all health systems in Hampton Roads are part of their membership like Sentara and Bon Secours.
“That was for several reasons. I would say misplaced concerns among some part of the people in the public that going to seek healthcare services for non-Covid illnesses was going to expose them to Covid. Unfortunately, what we saw was that a lot of people put off needed healthcare. But what that meant from a hospital perspective is it meant fewer patients coming in which had negative revenue implications for healthcare providers including hospitals,” explained Walker.
Walker says the data the report brings to light is concerning especially during the pandemic period.
“Health insurance companies were continuing to charge escalating amounts for health insurance premiums, even though they were paying out fewer claims. So said simply, during the pandemic particularly health insurance companies continued to collect more and more premium dollars from patients, while those patients weren’t going to get care,” said Walker
Walker says his organization shared this report so Virginians know the right questions to ask their health insurance companies.