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Health insurance prices drop 29.5% from last July, according to feds


Food is up, gas is down, health care has mixed results in latest Consumer Price Index.

inflation on calculator: © Superzoom - stock.adobe.com

© Superzoom - stock.adobe.com

Prices may be leveling off, but many goods and services remain more expensive than they were a year ago, according to the latest inflation report.

Inflation rose 0.2% from June to July for all items, the same rate as the time from May to June, and a tick greater than the 0.1% price increase from April to May, according to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published Aug. 10, 2023. Year over year, inflation was up 3.2% from July 2022 to last month, according to the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Food prices increased 0.2% month to month, and overall were 4.9% higher than in July 2022. Gasoline prices grew by 0.2% in July, but were down 19.9% from July last year. Not counting food and energy, all items saw prices go up by 0.2% for the month and 4.7% over the year.

Health care sector

In the health care sector, health insurance prices dropped 4.1% from June to July and tanked 29.5% from July 2022 to July 2023. The report noted the figures were not seasonally adjusted but did not include an explanation for the drop, which was one of the largest year-to-year price swings in the detailed expenditures.

The 0.2% month-to-month trend continued for physicians’ services; year-on-year prices were up 0.4%. Medical care services overall prices were down 0.4% from June to July, and down 1.5% from July last year to last month.

Other health sector price changes from June to July and year-over-year were:

  • Professional services, 0.3%; 1.9%
  • Dental services: 0.5%, 5.1%
  • Eyeglasses and eye care: 0.0%; 2.4%
  • Services by other medical professionals: 0.6%; 0.9%
  • Hospital and related services: -0.2%; 3.4%
  • Inpatient hospital services, -0.5%; 2.6%
  • Outpatient hospital services: -0.3%, 3.1%
  • Nursing homes and adult day services: 2.4%; 5.6%
  • Care of invalids and elderly at home: 0.5%; 4.7%

National reaction

In a statement, President Joe Biden said the report shows the national economy remains strong. Apart from food and energy costs, inflation fell to its lowest level of any three-month period since September 2021.

“We’re growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up, lowering costs for hardworking families, and making smart investments in America: That’s Bidenomics,” the president’s statement said.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Missouri) slammed Bidenomics and Washington Democrats for “bankrupting families with the president’s persistent inflation crisis.” Prices have increased 16.9% since the president took office, while real wages have decreased 4%, Smith said.

“While Washington Democrats want to spend like there is no tomorrow, Republicans are focused on delivering relief for families and small businesses struggling to make it in Biden’s economy,” Smith said in a statement.

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