CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Americans identify affordability as the country’s “most urgent health problem.” While there is an ocean of data describing healthcare access, costs and spending trends, there is no broad-based healthcare affordability measure. Americans understand that healthcare is expensive, but generally do not recognize the direct connection between health insurance premiums, healthcare costs and their incomes.
In their article published today by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Emanuel and Johnson introduce the Healthcare Affordability Index1, a ratio created by dividing the average cost of an employer-sponsored family health insurance policy by median household income. The Index more than doubled from 14.2% in 1999 to 30.2% in 2016.
The Healthcare Affordability Index provides a simple and powerful metric for assessing the impact of rising healthcare cost on American living standards.
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About the Authors:
Ezekiel J. Emanuel is the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, the Diane vs. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Until January 2011, Dr. Emanuel served as a Special Advisor on Health Policy to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and National Economic Council.
David W. Johnson is the CEO of 4sight Health, a boutique specializing in thought capital, strategy and capital formation. He is the author of Market vs. Medicine: America’s Epic Fight for Better, Affordable Healthcare, and the widely-read “Market Corner” commentaries. An advisor for several early-stage healthcare companies, Johnson enjoyed a successful investment-banking career in which he managed over $30 billion in healthcare revenue bonds and led significant strategic advisory engagements.
1 Also termed the Emanuel-Johnson Healthcare Affordability Index