Private U.S. health insurers’ spending on health care rose 6.6% in 2005, to $694 billion.
Economists with the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have included those figures in a health care spending report published in Health Affairs, a health policy journal.
Total U.S. health care spending increased 6.9% in 2005, to about $2 trillion, but the rate of increase slowed from 7.9% from 2004, the researchers write.
The 2005 health care spending total averaged $6,697 per person and amounted to 16% of the U.S. gross domestic product.
Despite reports about employers trying to shift more responsibility for paying for care to employees, consumers’ out-of-pocket health care spending increased just 5.8% in 2005, to $249 billion, according to the CMS researchers.