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SC Chamber Foundation Report Offers Strategies For Businesses To Control Rising Healthcare Costs

February 1, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Chamber Foundation today announced the release of the report, “Strategies to Mitigate the Rising Cost of Healthcare.” The report was created by the Healthcare Task Force of the SC Chamber Foundation in response to years of business surveys showing that the rising cost of healthcare consistently ranks among the most challenging issues facing the business community. Private-sector employers paid nearly $665 billion in 2016 in health-related costs, up five percent in just one year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The increasing cost of healthcare services has driven the average health insurance premium up 19% over the past five years to $7,000 for single coverage in 2017 and to nearly $19,000 for family coverage, with employers paying 75% or more of that cost, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

Recommendations in the report range from employee, employer, state legislative and state agency action to increasing awareness of existing cost-transparency tools. For example, several no-cost, online transparency tools already exist that allow consumers to shop around for the best price. One study shows that if patients used these tools while shopping for an MRI, they could have saved themselves and their employer combined over $300. Taking simple steps like these and other strategies outlined in the report will allow employers and employees to work toward stabilizing costs. 

“Skyrocketing healthcare costs are burdening employees and slowing business growth in South Carolina,” said Swati Patel, SC Chamber Foundation President. “Rather than waiting on federal policymakers, our state’s business and health industry leaders have come together to develop strategies for the state’s job creators to address rising healthcare costs.”

Visit the Chamber Foundation’s Healthcare Initiative website at https://www.scchamberfoundation.org/projects/healthcare to read the report today.

Business and healthcare leaders agree:

“Businesses throughout the state have struggled for years to handle the ever-increasing costs of healthcare. In addition to more comprehensive reforms, this report offers immediate solutions that employers can easily place into action, thereby benefitting both businesses and families throughout the state.”–Boyd Jones, Director, Middle Market Banking, Regional Chief Banking Officer, Synovus

“We appreciate opportunities to work with other stakeholders to seek innovative ways of controlling costs while protecting and enhancing access to quality health care for South Carolinians. I applaud the Chamber for providing a forum for this important work.” –James D’Alessio, Vice President of Government Affairs, BlueCross BlueShield of SC

“People are rightfully tired of watching politicians in Washington bicker over healthcare – they want to see South Carolina develop thoughtful, practical solutions that control costs, improve access to quality care, and protect those with pre-existing conditions.  This report shows the way to make coverage more affordable, using approaches such as State Innovation Waivers that have enjoyed broad, bipartisan support.” –Christian Soura, Vice President of Policy and Finance, South Carolina Hospital Association

Contact: Katie Titus, Director of Communications and Government Affairs Manager, 916-996-2015, katie.titus@scchamber.net

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