Sponsored by Oregon Business

What is driving the cost of health care?

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013

Aging population

Let’s face it: We’re getting old. In 2011, 14.3% of Oregonians were 65 years of age and older, up from 12.8% in 2001, according to the Census Bureau. This ranked Oregon 15th among the 50 states, higher than the U.S. overall at 13.3%. Percentages are much higher in southern and coastal areas that have attracted many retirees. For example, Josephine and Curry counties had 23.0% and 28.3%, respectively, of residents 65 and older. And as baby boomers continue to age into this demographic it will continue to swell.

This population creates a strong demand for health care. Most of its services are paid for by Medicare, which the OAHHS shows surpassed private insurance within the last few years to become the biggest patient revenue source at more than 40%, though Medicare beneficiaries represent only 17% of Oregon’s 2011 population, and the state ranked 46th for per capita Medicare billings at $13,752. Oregon also had the lowest nursing facility occupancy rate in the nation in 2010, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

As the state and nation get grayer, they’ll need more medical facilities and workers. Health care jobs have already outstripped the private sector overall, growing 64% in the last 20 years. The sector likewise grew from 6.3% of the state’s gross domestic product in 2006 to 6.9% in 2009. This requires huge investment in infrastructure and human capital, yet does not make products for export or generate new income. Instead it often bankrupts sick residents, devours government subsidies and hobbles the state with a population that consumes services but does not produce taxable income. Getting old is no fun.

0513 Data Facts 03

SOURCES: OREGON INSURANCE DIVISION: OAHHS, KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION

0513 Data Graph 01

SOURCE: OREGON EMPLOYMENT DEPT.

 



 

More Articles

Get on the bus!

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER

How the private sector can ride the next transit revolution.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

March 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees. 


Read more...

Umbrella Revolution

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015

Yeah, we know: Oregonians are way too cool for umbrellas. But today’s stylish, high-tech models will soften the resistance of the most rain hardened.


Read more...

5 ways successful people kickstart the day

The Latest
Thursday, April 02, 2015
coffeethumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Are mornings the most productive part of the day?  We ask five successful executives how they get off to a good start.


Read more...

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...

Car Talk

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.


Read more...

The best crisis is the one you avoid

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
crisisthumbBY GARY CONKLING | GUEST BLOGGER

Avoiding a crisis is a great way to burnish your reputation, increase brand loyalty and become a market leader.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS