U.S. healthcare spend grew 9.7% to $4.1 trillion in 2020

Dec. 17, 2021

A new report from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services based on the National Health Expenditures (NHE) estimates of spending for healthcare in the U.S. over the next decade shows 2020 spend grew almost 10%.

The projections are presented by type of good or service delivered (hospital care, physician and clinical services, retail prescription drugs, etc.) and by source of funding for those services (private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, out-of-pocket spending, etc.).

Historical NHE, 2020:

  • NHE grew 9.7% to $4.1 trillion in 2020, or $12,530 per person, and accounted for 19.7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Medicare spending grew 3.5% to $829.5 billion in 2020, or 20 percent of total NHE.
  • Medicaid spending grew 9.2% to $671.2 billion in 2020, or 16 percent of total NHE.
  • Private health insurance spending declined 1.2% to $1,151.4 billion in 2020, or 28 percent of total NHE.
  • Out of pocket spending declined 3.7% to $388.6 billion in 2020, or 9 percent of total NHE.
  • Federal government spending for health care grew 36.0% in 2020, significantly faster than the 5.9% growth in 2019. This faster growth was largely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Hospital expenditures grew 6.4% to $1,270.1 billion in 2020, slightly faster than the 6.3% growth in 2019.
  • Physician and clinical services expenditures grew 5.4% to $809.5 billion in 2020, faster growth than the 4.2% in 2019.
  • Prescription drug spending increased 3.0% to $348.4 billion in 2020, slower than the 4.3% growth in 2019.

The largest shares of total health spending were sponsored by the federal government (36.3 percent) and the households (26.1 percent). The private business share of health spending accounted for 16.7 percent of total health care spending, state and local governments accounted for 14.3 percent, and other private revenues accounted for 6.5 percent.

CMS release 

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