Nearly two-thirds of Nevadans experienced health care affordability strain in 2022, dropping health insurance, struggling to pay medical bills, and delaying doctor visits for dental, addiction treatment and mental health care.
However, the healthcare sector did well in 2022, according to a fresh analysis United States of Care, a non-profit nonprofit organization working to improve access to quality health care, was released at the end of November.
Health care premiums in Nevada grew significantly faster than the cost of covered insurance claims, which had an impact health insurance company of record profits. The Nevada Department of Insurance (DOI) does not monitor provider and hospital rates, but does monitor rates for small group and individual insurance plans in Nevada.
And at Nevada hospitals, patient revenue exceeded operating costs, according to an analysis released in November by United States of Care, a nonprofit focused on improving access to quality health care.
The findings are stark. You see on the one hand people who are really struggling with affordability in a really deep way, and on the other hand you have a healthcare industry that is making a profit and doing very well financially, Liz Hagan, director of policy solutions for United States of Care, said in an interview.
Profit margins at Nevadas insurance companies and hospitals grew by 15 percent, according to the report.
The states’ largest private health insurers, UnitedHealth Group, Centene and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, are among the most profitable Fortune 500 companies. UnitedHealth Group earned $28.4 billion in national profits in 2022, up 19 percent from 2021, according to the report.
In addition to individual insurance market revenues, the three companies cover 900,000 Nevadans who pay Medicare Advantage plans, each worth $2 billion in sales. They also cover most of the 46 percent of Nevadans with employer coverage.
Representatives of the UnitedHealth Group, Centene and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield did not respond to requests for comment.
Compared to most of the rest of the nation, Nevadas hospital industry is significantly more privatized. At 55.3 percent, the state ranks 13th for the highest percentage of for-profit hospitals, according to 2021 data, the most recent analysis by Care USA.
The analysis cites this as one reason for the state’s higher health care costs, noting that while hospitals were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital recovered financially with the help of federal grant funding and that the for-profit hospital’s patient revenue has exceeded the amount the state spends on operations.
Owned by Hospital Corporation of America, the largest for-profit healthcare system in the United States, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center charges patients the second highest rates compared to the actual cost of care of any hospital in the country. average bill increase percentage 12.9.
Representatives for Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center did not respond to requests for comment.
Those Profit Margins Don’t Mean Better Care Nevada ranks 41st in overall health system performance and last in prevention and treatment, according to the report. Poor rankings also won’t mean stagnant prices in 2023, according to the report. Health insurance premiums for Nevada consumers rose 9 percent.
The impact of rising healthcare costs extends to other areas of life, and higher hospital bills and health fees have also been used to justify car insurance premiums and increase healthcare debt, which causes people to cut other household expenses, spend savings, leave other bills unpaid or delay studying, buying an apartment or changing their living situation, according to KFF. a non-profit foundation that conducts research, journalism and communication programs on health care.
Efforts at the state level to curb Nevada’s health care affordability crisis have been scaled back, including reducing prescription drug prices and develop a benchmark for healthcare growth through the patient protection committee.
State lawmakers have laid the groundwork for a public health insurance program designed to provide coverage at a lower cost. However, in seeking the federal waiver needed to implement the public option, Gov. Joe Lombardo’s administration prioritized federal funding for the insurers’ reinsurance program.
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