Healthcare Costs in NH Continue to Rise

Around the kitchen table, across the country and in the nation’s capital, people are talking healthcare. Congress is vigorously debating reform. And President Obama wants a bill before the August recess. While at home, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Public ponder how to provide their family with medical care and insurance coverage considering the skyrocketing costs.

“Who can afford it!” said a self-employed Sunapee contractor. “My HMO premium keeps going up, and jumped over 70% this year.”  This left him scrambling to patch together different coverage, while he hopes to maintain his health. However, a chronic work-related condition worries him.

“The cost of personal health care continues to rise in New Hampshire,” confirms the NH Center for Public Policy Studies.

The Center recently published Healthcare 101: Information on Healthcare Spending, Who Pays, and Future Trends.

In the Granite State, personal health care—which includes visits to doctors, hospitalizations, medicine, and so on—consumes 18 percent of our economy, or 18 cents of every dollar. Twenty years ago, spending on personal health care was less than 10 percent of New Hampshire’s economy. Twenty years from now, health care spending is projected to reach nearly 22 to 25 percent of economic activity. – Healthcare 101

Other findings in the report about U.S. healthcare spending:

  • Exceeded $2 trillion in 2006, expected to rise 19% from that level in 2009.
  • Per person, increases 59% between 2001 and 2009.
  • Far exceeds that of other developed countries, both in per capita spending and as a percent of GDP. The report shows the figures for the U.S., Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, France and other countries.

For New Hampshire, the Center found:

  • Growth in healthcare expenditures has been relentless. In comparison, energy remains less than 10% of GDP because of changing consumption patterns and prices.
  • Growing disparity in investment between healthcare and other services, including education.
  • Rural areas face high costs. In Coos County, the average health insurance family premium is more than 20% of the mean family income. In Rockingham county, it is only 13%.

The Center has developed a snapshot of healthcare that updates previous studies and provides general background  information on healthcare spending nationally and in New Hampshire. It also reports on services funded and “how much of the spending comes directly from consumers.”

For the Healthcare 101 report, visit:

If you’d like to comment on the personal aspect of healthcare, leave a comment below.

If you are a healthcare consumer, provider or policy maker and would like to submit an article on this topic, please contact and join the debate.

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