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Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey has launched a news website to report on health insurance in the Garden State. Among its first offerings is an article by David Rosenberg on why New Jersey’s healthcare costs are so high.

“The cost of healthcare is increasing faster in New Jersey than in the nation as a whole and faster than all of our neighboring states,” he writes. “So, just how much do we spend and why are we spending more and more every year?”

According to Rosenberg, 89 cents of every premium dollar went directly to pay for members’ medical care in 2017.  The breakdown was:

“Physician services (31 cents). These include all fees paid to doctors for a wide range of health care services. A few of the many are annual check-ups, preventive care (mammograms, cancer screenings, blood tests, etc.), surgery and recovery care and much more.

“Outpatient costs (21 cents). From in-home nursing visits to post-operative evaluations, treating bone fractures to physical therapy, these costs were incurred for care at outpatient facilities (those that don’t involve an overnight stay). According to the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, outpatient spending in New Jersey – across all healthcare providers – rose higher than the national average.

“Prescription drugs (20 cents). One of the fastest rising and most debated healthcare expenses, controlling prescription drug costs is a challenge for everyone involved in healthcare as they are rising faster than any other part of health spending.

“Inpatient costs (17 cents). Hospital stays generate a myriad of expenses, and often include charges for surgeons and other specialists, nursing and a wide range of other hospital fees. These costs can be quite high for lengthy stays due to acute emergencies or chronic illnesses.”

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