For Consumers

Health care cost affordability

View the 2023 Preliminary Report on Health Care Affordability

On Dec. 1, 2023, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and Attorney General Bob Ferguson sent a preliminary report to legislators on the state of Washington's health care system. In it, recent health care market consolidation and changes for improving affordability are explored. The report and its findings will be used to evaluate policy options to improve the affordability of health care in our state. 

The final report to the Legislature is due in August 2024.

Explore the Washington State All Payer Claims Database

The increase in health care costs has been well documented nationally, but we wanted to better understand what's happening in Washington state. In addition to the Preliminary Report on Health Care Affordability, we contracted with Onpoint Health Data to review our state's changes in costs by looking at both the use of health care services and the price of those services.

Onpoint used claims data from the Washington State All Payer Claims Database (WA-APCD) to create a dashboard of trends in health care costs. The WA-APCD was created to improve transparency of the cost drives of health care and to support and inform policy decisions. It contains claims from more than 50 commercial health care insurers, and the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Onpoint's analysis only included commercial claims. 

The dashboard includes an analysis of hospital inpatient, outpatient, health care professional claims and prescription drug spending. It also includes analysis of types of inpatient, mental health and ambulance services.

Claims data includes:

  • Individual, small group and large group health plans, including plans sold through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange as well as Public Employee Health Benefit plans
  • Enrollees between the age of 0 and 64
  • Claims paid in calendar years 2016-2019
  • Services received by Washington state residents
  • Total costs paid by both the health plan and consumer
  • Claims with a first service date between January 1 and December 31 for 2016-2019
  • Claims for enrollees eligible for both pharmacy and medical coverage during 2016-2019
  • Enrollees in groups with the majority of their care paid a fee-for-service (non-capitated) basis

Use the interactive dashboard below to explore trends in use and costs for various services from 2016 to 2019. You can find information on the methodology used at the bottom of the dashboard.

Interactive dashboard of health care cost trends in Washington state