HC Statistics

Health care spending falls as a share of GDP

In Health Affairs, CMS Office of the Actuary (OACT) notes that while health care spending grew in 2018, it actually fell as a percentage of the economy.

US health care spending increased 4.6 percent to reach $3.6 trillion in 2018, a faster growth rate than the rate of 4.2 percent in 2017 but the same rate as in 2016. The share of the economy devoted to health care spending declined to 17.7 percent in 2018, compared to 17.9 percent in 2017… Much of the faster spending growth in 2018 was associated not with expenditures for goods and services but instead with the net cost of health insurance (the amount of insurance spending attributed to nonmedical expenses, including administration, taxes, and underwriting gains or losses)

Current health care spending is equal to $11,172 per person.While a decrease in health care spending may seem like a positive, one reason for the decrease was a rise in the number uninsured. The number of uninsured rose by 1 million individuals in 2018 to 30.7 million in 2018; it was the second consecutive year with a rise in unemployment.

Cost increases in hospital and outpatient spending far outpaced spending growth for prescription drugs.

Households and the federal government collectively funded more than half of US health expenditures.


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