Better Solutions for Healthcare

AXIOS: New normal for health care spending

By Tina Reed

March 29th, 2022

U.S. health care spending is likely to grow at about the rate of inflation over the rest of the decade after the pandemic fueled a nearly 10% jump between 2019 and 2020, federal experts said Monday.

The big picture: The CMS actuaries’ projections in Health Affairs came with plenty of caveats. But if trends hold, out-of-pocket spending is going up, as is spending on private coverage, Medicare and Medicaid.

What they’re saying: “This outlook is contingent on a virus that has evolved and surprised at every turn — and could do so again,” the authors wrote.

By the numbers: National health spending surged 9.7% in 2020, rising from $3.8 trillion in spending in 2019 to $4.1 trillion in spending in 2020.

  • Spending growth is projected to drop to less than half of that, 4.2% in 2021, or about $4.3 trillion.
  • The actuaries project 4.6% spending growth in 2022, or about $4.5 trillion.