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Professor Robert Field Offers Insights on Health Care Cost Trends for the New Year

Professor Robert Field

January 06, 2016

The decrease in number of consumers lacking health insurance means that fewer people have trouble paying for medical care, though some still do, Professor Robert Field wrote in his Health Cents blog in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Jan. 6.

Citing one survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and another conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and The New York Times, Field noted that the percent of respondents under age 65 who cite difficulties paying for medical care has declined but still exists.

“Insurance remains crucially important in affording medical bills,” Field wrote. “It does not always offer complete financial protection. Obamacare’s success in lowering the rate of uninsurance resolves only part of the problem.

Field advises consumers to check the terms of their insurance coverage, confirm the size of their annual deductible, determine whether care providers are in or out of their networks and find out if charges from nonparticipating hospitals and doctors count toward the deductible.

On Jan. 1, CBS News quoted Field on trends in health care costs in an article that cited a slowing rate of inflation in health care spending since 2007.

“The rate of growth started to decline during the Great Recession, and the trend has continued since then,” Field said.