Health spending swallowed 38% of federal revenue in 2010, down from 54% in 2009, but up from 28% in 2007.

The net cost of health insurance – the difference between private health insurance premiums earned and private health benefits paid – fell 1.2%, to $133 billion, according to a team of researchers led by Anne Martin, an economist in the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The researchers have published a 2009 National Health Expenditures (NHE) report in Health Affairs, a health care delivery and health finance academic journal.

Employer spending on health insurance premiums rose 0.4%, to $398 billion, and individuals’ spending on health insurance premiums rose 0.2%, to $248 billion.

State Medicaid spending fell 10%, to $130 billion, but federal spending on Medicaid climbed 22%, to $254 billion.

Federal spending on Medicare climbed 21%, to $233 billion.

Spending on private health insurance was soft because enrollment was down, the researchers say.

“As the unemployment rate continued to climb through 2009, the number of people enrolled in private health insurance plans decreased by 3.2%,” the researchers say.

Private health insurance spending increased 4.7% per enrollee in 2009, up from 4.5% per enrollee in 2008, the researchers estimate.

Plan spending on benefits increased more rapidly than premium revenue, the researchers report.

***

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article described the latest year covered incorrectly. The latest year covered is 2009.

Other national health expenditure coverage from National Underwriter Life & Health: