CHA News Article

CHCF Releases 2014 Edition of Health Care Costs Almanac
Report details how much is spent on health care in the U.S.

The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) has released the 2014 edition of its health care costs almanac, titled Health Care Costs 101: Slow Growth Persists. CHCF used the most recent data available to detail health care spending in the U.S., identify which services are purchased, and explain what proportions are financed by households, government and business. The report notes, “With the slow growth in national health spending in recent years, the U.S. continued to spend a greater percentage of its wealth on health care than any other industrialized nation. In 2012, the U.S. spent an average of $8,915 per person on health care, reaching a total of $2.8 trillion.”

Other key findings include:

  • The economy grew slightly faster than health spending, resulting in health care’s share of the economy remaining stable at 17.2 percent.
  • In 2010 the elderly population, 65 and over, accounted for one-third of health spending but made up just 13 percent of the population.
  • Average health care costs for women were 25 percent more than for men in 2010, primarily due to higher spending in the childbearing years and after age 85.
  • Prescription drug spending grew at its slowest pace on record, increasing less than half a percent in 2012, as generic drugs replaced blockbuster drugs that lost patent protection.
  • Medicare spending grew at a rate of 4.8 percent, slightly faster than the overall average, while private insurance spending (3.2 percent) stayed closer to the average.
  • Public health insurance accounted for 39 percent of health spending, while private health insurance accounted for 33 percent.
  • Health care spending consumed 42 percent of federal revenues and 6 percent of household income.