Spending in health care increased by 5.8% in 2015, the last year for which data are available. This represents an increase from the 5.3% growth in 2014 and the 3.7% average annual increase over the 5-year period from 2008–2013.
Although the 2015 growth rate is the highest single year growth rate in spending since 2007 (6.5%), it is still low from a historical perspective. Going back to the early 1960s when health spending data was first collected in its current format, there are only a handful of years in the mid-1990s when spending grew more slowly than it did in 2015.
As in 2014, spending growth in 2015 was affected by coverage expansions resulting from the Affordable Care Act that increased the use and intensity of health care services.
Policy Research Perspective
A new AMA Policy Research Perspective provides an in-depth look at U.S. health spending in 2015.