Rising Healthcare Costs Come With 2011

By Ryan Elijah

January 3, 2011 Updated Jan 3, 2011 at 1:49 PM EDT

Many people are already seeing changes as a result of healthcare reform.

Consumers have seen increased co-pays and higher premiums, as roughly two-thirds of companies indicated plans to raise premiums for 2011. Some say it's not just because of the new health care reform laws.

The reality is companies are trying to account for the changes, and the rising costs related to healthcare and the uncertainty has made it difficult to keep costs down.

"everybody is trying to account for the uncertainty, and that's the biggest issue, there's a lot of uncertainty that comes with the reform. Markets don't like uncertainty, businesses don't like uncertainty, so they're trying to build in what they anticipate will be the increases, as well as just the normal increases in healthcare costs." , said Jay Gilbert, President/CEO of PHP.

One example of increased costs for insurance companies, before there were 17,000 diagnosis codes, but government-mandated changes effective in 2013 will take that number to 141,000 codes. Companies like PHP must change their computer systems to account for the new requirement.

Some experts say many of the reasons for the increasing cost of healthcare are not addressed in the current reform package.

As a local not-for-profit, the changes haven't impacted PHP quite as hard. Gilbert said it's important for consumers to ask questions of their insurance companies and HR departments.

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