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Expand chart
Data: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Workers who get health care coverage through their jobs are bearing the brunt of rising health care costs. And that’s mainly because health care prices keep going up, not because we’re using more health care services.

The big picture: Per-person spending is growing faster for private insurance than it is for Medicare or Medicaid, according to a new analysis from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

  • A separate analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute found that the per-person cost of employer-based insurance reached an all-time high in 2017, topping out at $5,641.

By the numbers: Costs are rising for people who get coverage through their employers, but those people aren’t using more health care services, according to HCCI, which collects its data directly from insurance claims.

  • Total utilization was up just 0.5% from 2016 to 2017, and was slightly down over a 5-year period.
  • In private insurance, the biggest spending growth over the past decade came from nursing and home health, followed by hospitals, according to the Commonwealth study.
  • Prescription drugs were the biggest cost driver in Medicare. In Medicaid, it was administrative costs and doctors.

The bottom line: These 2 reports cement a lot of conventional wisdom about the health care system: Prices, not utilization, are driving up spending; and public programs control their costs more tightly than private plans, overall.

Go deeper: The trends shaping health care in 2019

Go deeper

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Far-right figure "Baked Alaska" arrested for involvement in Capitol siege

Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The FBI arrested far-right media figure Tim Gionet, known as "Baked Alaska," on Saturday for his involvement in last week's Capitol riot, according to a statement of facts filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

The state of play: Gionet was arrested in Houston on charges related to disorderly or disruptive conduct on the Capitol grounds or in any of the Capitol buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session, per AP.