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Despite recession, children's health spending increased between 2009-2012, says new report
Date:2/26/2014

Washington, DC Spending on health care for children covered by employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) increased between 2009 and 2012, rising an average 5.5 percent a year, with more dollars spent on boys than girls, and higher spending on infants and toddlers (ages 0-3) than any other children's age group, finds a new report released today by the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). Per capita spending on children reached $2,437 in 2012, a $363 increase from 2009. The study shows a growth in prescription use by children through age 18, as well as a rise in the number of teens being admitted for mental health and substance use (MHSU) treatment.

The report, Children's Health Spending: 2009-2012, presents the most up-to-date data on health care spending trends for privately insured children under age 19. It is based on fee-for-service claims for 10.5 million children per year who were covered by employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI). For all years studied, HCCI found rising prices contributed more to spending growth than did utilization of services. However, increased prescription use contributed to rising spending for children over the age of 3.

Big Gender Gap in Spending

Until age 14, boys had higher health care spending than girls, and boys of all ages had a higher share of spending on brand prescriptions. In 2012, spending for boys reached $2,572, while spending on girls was $2,296 a $276 gender difference. Out-of-pocket spending also was higher for boys than for girls, $440 per boy and $414 per girl. When children reached their teens, spending on health care for girls was higher than boys, a trend that continues throughout adulthood until about age 60.

Rise in Prescription Use and Teen Mental Health Admissions
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Contact: Maya Brod
mbrod@burnesscommunications.com
301-280-5757
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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