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Out-of-pocket costs slow medical demand in Minnesota

Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 2, 2008

Minnesotans are paying significantly more out-of-pocket for their healthcare, and it seems to be slowing demand for medical care. In 2007 medical spending on those enrolled in private healthcare plans rose by 5.6% to $4,095, on average, the smallest increase in a decade, according to a state report. At the same time, however, out-of-pocket costs for individuals surged by nearly 14%, the highest increase since 2002. In 2007, enrollees paid more than 15% of total healthcare costs, up from just over 10% in 2000.