Media Room

For Immediate Release

Government Employees Cost 20 Percent More to Insure Than the Private Workforce

Truven Health Analytics finds significantly higher rate of chronic conditions in public employees

Ann Arbor, MI, May 07, 2013 — Healthcare spending is 20 percent higher for public sector employees than it is for the private employee population, according to study results released today by Truven Health Analytics, formerly the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters.

The paper, Health Risk in the Public Sector Employee Population: Costs and Solutions, outlines unique healthcare challenges faced by government workers and offers a framework for population health management in the public setting. The study found that public employers spend $5, 341 per member, per year on their employees’ health costs, compared to $4, 464 by private sector employers. Public employees are also far more likely to be diagnosed with chronic conditions such as diabetes (48 percent more), hypertension (59 percent more), and coronary artery disease (46 percent more), and suffer higher rates of asthma, obesity, and depression.

The study analyzed the health risk and healthcare utilization of 1.3 million public workers and their dependents and compared them with 24.3 million employees and their dependents across the private sector for 2010. Overall, it found that the health risk of public sector employees and their dependents is 19.5 percent higher than private sector workers and their dependents.

“While some of the discrepancies in health between public and private sector employees can be attributed to demographic differences within each employee population, an opportunity exists for employers in the public sector to improve the health of their workforce, ” said Truven Health Analytics Chief Medical Offer, Dr. Michael Taylor. “By promoting agency-sponsored health programs, public employers stand to improve overall health status of their employees and ultimately reduce public sector health care costs.”

The researchers used the Truven Health MarketScan® Research Databases, a repository of healthcare claims representing the real-world healthcare experience of more than 30 million Americans. The study looked exclusively at workers with employer-sponsored insurance.

For a copy of the full study, click here.

About Truven Health Analytics, part of the IBM Watson Health Business

Truven Health Analytics an IBM Company, delivers the answers that clients need to help them improve healthcare quality and access while reducing costs. We provide market-leading performance improvement solutions built on data integrity, advanced analytics, and domain expertise. For more than 40 years, our insights and solutions have been providing hospitals and clinicians, employers and health plans, state and federal government agencies, life sciences companies, and policymakers the facts they need to help them make confident decisions that directly affect the health and well-being of people and organizations in the U.S. and around the world.

Truven Health Analytics owns some of the most trusted brands in healthcare, such as MarketScan®, 100 Top Hospitals®, Advantage Suite®, Micromedex®, Simpler®, ActionOI® and JWA. Truven Health has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Chicago; and Denver. For more information, please visit http://truvenhealth.com.


Brian Erni
For Truven Health Analytics
J. Roderick, Inc. Public Relations