The chart below shows the astounding growth in the cost of common medical services from 2005 to 2010. While premiums increased significantly during that time, they still didn’t keep pace with the costs of services. Premiums are driven by a number of factors, including higher medical provider fees, new technology, escalating prices of prescription medications, and the number of services obtained by our members.
It’s important to note, however, that not all of the spending on medical services is bad. The average cost increase for mammograms and PCP preventive visits does reflect medical inflation—but also Blue Cross’s increased support for preventive care. We view these services as critical to improving members’ health, which will ultimately bring the other costs down.
Average Cost Increase for Selected Medical Services
(2005 to 2010)