The Children’s Health Care Spending Report: 2007—2010 is the first report of its kind to track changes in expenditure and utilization of health care services by beneficiaries age 18 and younger covered by employer-sponsored, private health insurance.

Executive Summary

In the Health Care Cost and Utilization Report: 2010, HCCI found that the health expenditures for children with ESI grew faster than any other age group. This report begins to explore why health care spending for commercially insured children rose so quickly, and whether growing expenditure on children’s health care represents a potential long-term trend. HCCI assessed the levels and changes in prices and utilization for children (including changes in the mix of services) focusing on 2007—2010.

Key Findings from this Report

  • Per capita spending on children’s health care rose to $2,123 in 2010, an 18.6 percent increase from 2007
  • Health care spending grew fastest for teens over the four-year period
  • Infants and toddlers (age 0-3) made up 17 percent of the population of children with employer-based coverage but accounted for nearly one-third of total spending on children in 2010
  • Children’s use of mental health and substance abuse services (MHSA) rose over the four-year period: hospital-based MHSA care increased 24 percent and the use of central nervous system drugs (including anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicines) increased 10 percent
  • Prices for children’s outpatient visits rose the fastest of any service category, increasing at nearly six times the rate of general inflation