Spending in health care increased by 5.3% in 2014, the last year for which data are available. This represents an increase from the 2.9% growth in 2013 and the 4.0% average annual increase over the 5-year period from 2007–2012.
This increase in spending can be attributed to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and introduction of new drug treatments for hepatitis C, cancer and multiple sclerosis.
The recent growth rate is still considered to be low by historical standards.
View the full Policy Research Perspective on trends in health spending (PDF, members only).
What Health Care Spending Pays for
The United States spent $3,031.3 billion on health care in 2014.
This spending can be broken down into the following categories:
- Hospital care
- Physician services
- Clinical services
- Prescription drugs
- Nursing care facilities
- Home health care
- Other personal health care costs
- Government administration: includes all administrative costs associated with insuring individuals in health insurance programs
- Net cost of health insurance: the difference between current year premiums and benefits paid for private health insurance companies that insure enrollees of Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and the health portion of workers’ compensation
- Government public health activities
- Investment spending