Healthcare spending stayed low in 2011

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

WASHINGTON ­– Healthcare spending in the United States grew at a rate of 3.9% in 2011, continuing a recent trend of extremely slow growth, according to a new analysis from the Office of the Actuary at CMS, which was published in the January 2013 issue of the journal Health Affairs. The annual growth rate of 3.9% is identical to spending growth rates in 2009 and 2010, which means that growth in all three years has occurred at the slowest rates ever recorded in the 52-year history of the National Health Expenditure Accounts. Total healthcare spending growth in 2010 and 2011 tracked closely national GDP growth, and the health spending share of GDP remained stable in 2011 at 17.9%. Spending for Medicare, private health insurance and consumer out-of-pocket payments increased faster in 2011 compared to 2010, although Medicaid spending grew more slowly, according to the analysis. The Affordable Care Act’s affect on aggregate health spending in 2010 and 2011 was “minimal,” though certain subcomponents of national health expenditures, such as private health insurance spending, were impacted.