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Oregon health care costs increased faster than the rest of the country


Health care costs for Oregonians increased more per year than the rest of the U.S. Spending on health care went up by about 50% between 2013 and 2019, an average of 7% every year. That’s according to a new report from the Oregon Health Authority. Jeremy Vandehey, director of health care policy and analytics for OHA, spoke with Dave Miller on OPB’s “Think Out Loud®” about the reasons for this increase and the impact on Oregonians.

Dave Miller: Welcome back to “Think Out Loud.®”

Jeremy Vandehey: Thanks Dave, Happy to be here.

Miller: Let’s start with the actual increases over this six-year period, because they varied for the different categories of how people get their insurance: Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. How big were the increases for these different marketplaces?

Vandehey: So we have a pretty complex health care system as most folks know, and people get their insurance and access to health care systems in a variety of different ways. The three big buckets we think about are; Medicaid, which is generally folks who are lower income or disabled; Medicare, which tends to be folks who are older or disabled; and most of the state gets their health insurance through their employers. […]

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