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Rhode Island's Total Cost Of Health Care? Not As Much As You Think.

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Health care spending in Rhode Island has been relatively flat, even decreasing in some areas. That’s according to a new study about the total cost of...

Health care spending in Rhode Island has been relatively flat, even decreasing in some areas. That’s according to a new study about the total cost of health care in the state. 

In fact, Rhode Island has some of the lowest health care costs in New England. But out-of-pocket spending for health care in Rhode Island – on things like co-pays and deductibles - has been increasing at a faster rate than what insurers pay.

A legislative committee, the Health Care Planning and Accountability Advisory Council, requested this study in order to get a big picture view of how the state spends its health care dollars. Actuaries from Wakely Consulting Group combed through claims data from commercial insurers and public payers to determine how much they’re spending, and on what.

Some highlights: Medicaid enrolled more people between 2011 and 2013, but costs went down. And specialty drugs are gobbling up an increasing share of the spending.

Why tally up the total cost of care? If you want to cap health care spending, it's good to know what you’ve been spending so far. 

Yes, we spend a lot on health care in Rhode Island, but that amount has not increased significantly in the past few years.
Yes, we spend a lot on health care in Rhode Island, but that amount has not increased significantly in the past few years.