The 2012 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report tracks changes in health care prices, utilization, and spending for people younger than 65 covered by employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI).

Executive Summary

The 2012 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report shows that the growth rate of health care spending among privately insured people under age 65 remained low in 2012, growing 4.0 percent, slightly lower than in 2011 (4.1%).

Key Findings from this Report

  • Spending grew fastest for young adults, women, and people living in the Northeast.
  • Out-of-pocket spending rose more quickly than expenditures per person in 2012, increasing 4.8 percent to $768 for each individual.
  • After three years of slowing growth, spending per person on prescription drugs and devices reversed course, growing 3.8 percent in 2012.
  • Inpatient spending grew slower (2.4%) than any medical service category in 2012, while spending on outpatient services grew at the fastest rate (6.5%).
  • Prices rose 5.4 percent for inpatient services, and 5.6 percent for outpatient services.
  • For the first time since the end of the recession, increases in expenditures for professional procedures and generic prescriptions were due mainly to increased use, not increased prices.