Maitland said the sweeping healthcare reforms passed by Congress this year have yet to take effect and were not a factor in the cost increases.
Also this week, the Thomson Reuters' Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index for September, which showed that Americans‘ confidence in their ability to obtain and afford healthcare rose for the second consecutive month, reversing a 5% downward trend that had prevailed in the first half of the year.
"It’s too early to call this a trend, but two months of increased confidence may auger growing optimism as we approach the end of the year," said Gary Pickens, chief research officer at the Thomson Reuters Center for Healthcare Analytics. "The next several months will show whether this optimism has legs."
In September, for the second month in a row, consumers expressed increased confidence that they could access and pay for healthcare in the next three months and fewer people reported that they had postponed or cancelled treatment in the past three months. The Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index is based on responses from a survey subset of 3,000 respondents each month. Its baseline measurement of 100 was set in December 2009.