Health Insurance Ownership – Heat Map

The Health Insurance Industry continues to be a major topic of discussion in the U.S., particularly with the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”).  Despite the challenges faced by this industry and the continued rocky road toward economic recovery, the industry is holding its own.  According to S&P, the 2012 Outlook for this sector is stable, “…reflecting our belief that industry risk is moderating, business conditions have improved, and health insurers’ financial fundamentals are now relatively strong.

Current ownership of medical, health and hospital insurance is displayed in the map below by percentage of the U.S. Adult Population (18+). Areas of the least coverage are shown in red, while those with the greatest coverage are shown in green.

medical map

Health insurance coverage is only part of overall health care spending.  Each month, the Altarum Institute releases its HealthCare Spending Brief. The most recent publication reveals the following findings based on data collected through June 2012:

• Hospital spending was $910 billion seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) and represented 32% of total health spending
• Physician and clinical services spending was $547 billion, remaining at 19% of total health spending
• Prescription drug spending was $281 billion, 10% of total health spending
• Nursing home and home health spending combined were $230 billion, 8% of total health spending.
• Spending on personal health care goods and services accounted for 84% of total health spending (other major components include public health, research, construction, and net cost of private insurance)

What do these figures mean? According to the Washington Post, health care spending in the last two years has been slow, much slower than in previous decades. Take a look at health care spending for June 2012 vs. June 2011, showing a continued decline in overall growth.

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