Food Allergy-Related Insurance Claims Up in Almost Every State in the Country
One measure of the increasing number of allergies in the U.S. is how many health insurance claims have been filed for anaphylaxis food reactions. A recent study showed that claims rose a whopping 377% from 2007 to 2016! The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) group recently launched the Contains: Courage™ campaign, to drive awareness and raise an unprecedented amount of funding for research, therapies and diagnostics to improve the quality of life of children and adults who are affected.
By News Wire
January 23rd, 2019
McLean, VA – Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), the largest private funder of food allergy research in the world, today released the results of a study on private insurance claim lines and food allergies. The study showed that claim lines with diagnoses of anaphylactic food reactions rose 377% from 2007 to 2016, and in every state except Massachusetts, claim lines with anaphylactic food reactions and history of food allergy diagnoses represented an increasing share of all medical claim lines from 2009 to 2016. Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can occur quickly and is potentially life-threatening.
The 10 states with the biggest increases are: Maine (391%), North Carolina (332%), California (316%), Delaware (314%), New Hampshire (282%), Kentucky (280%), Texas (259%), Oklahoma (215%), Pennsylvania (213%), and Connecticut (210%)
“A 377% increase is a staggering number, and the percentages are up in nearly every state across the country,” said Lisa Gable, CEO of FARE. “The data shows food allergies are having real consequences for families and individuals as they seek medical care for their disease, including management and emergency treatment. From Maine to California, the massive increase in food allergy medical claims reinforces the need for advances in treatments and diagnostic tools to save lives and improve the quality of life for the millions of people living with food allergies.
“Despite this ever-growing public health concern, many Americans are not aware of the complexity of the disease, or that there is no cure. That’s why FARE recently launched the Contains: Courage™ campaign, a five-year effort to drive awareness and raise a historic amount of funding for research, therapies and diagnostics to improve the quality of life of children and adults who are affected,” continued Gable.
Conducted by FAIR Health, a national, independent, nonprofit organization that collects and analyzes data on healthcare costs, the study found that peanuts were the most common specifically identified food causing anaphylaxis, accounting for 26% of claim lines with anaphylactic food reaction. Tree nuts and seeds followed at 18%. Also common were egg allergies, crustacean allergies (e.g., allergies to shrimp or lobster) and milk allergy, making up, respectively, 7%, 6% and 5% of claim lines. The most common category, however, was “other specific foods” (33%), which includes foods that less commonly cause allergies and cases in which the actual food allergen is not known.
“Our data from the FAIR Health repository of billions of private healthcare claims contribute to understanding the state-by-state impact of food allergies. Though the specifics of food allergy diagnoses vary from state to state, it is clear that food allergies remain an important public health concern across the nation,” said FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd.