In 2020, health care made up nearly 20% of GDP

From CMS’s office of the Actuary as reported in Health Affairs today:

US health care spending increased 9.7 percent to reach $4.1 trillion in 2020, a much faster rate than the 4.3 percent increase seen in 2019. The acceleration in 2020 was due to a 36.0 percent increase in federal expenditures for health care that occurred largely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, gross domestic product declined 2.2 percent, and the share of the economy devoted to health care spending spiked, reaching 19.7 percent. In 2020 the number of uninsured people fell, while at the same time there were significant shifts in types of coverage.

Clearly, 2020 was a statistically anomalous year and it will be interesting to see how the numbers change in 2021 and 2022 once they become available. Of note is that health care spending trends varied a lot by payer. While commercial and out-of-pocket costs fell, Medicare and Medicaid spending rose significantly, especially Medicaid. Nevertheless, private insurance still makes up the bulk of U.S. health spending. Private payer spending was 1,150 billion; Medicare 830 billion; Medicaid 671 billion and out-of-pocket cost 389 billion.

More detail can be found in the article here.

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