U.S. private health insurers may take in $1.1 trillion in premium revenue this year, up 6.4 percent from the 2013 total.
Or, maybe not.
Analysts in the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have tried to come up with new National Health Expenditure (NHE) projections, for a paper published in Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed health finance journal.
This year, Sean Keehan and other study authors are predicting that total NHE spending will increase 5.3 percent this year, to $3.2 trillion, or about 18 percent of 2015 U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), and that per-capita health spending will increase 4.4 percent, to about $17,980.
The CMS analysts are expecting spending most types of health care services and products, other than the products sold at retail outlets, to increase about 4 percent to 6 percent, and the average increase in NHE will be 5.3 percent from 2016 through 2018.
The actuaries say the net cost of health insurance, the difference between the revenue private health insurers take in and the amount the insurers pay for actual health care, will increase 11.2 percent this year, to about $223 billion.
The federal government may account for about $898 billion of health spending this year, the actuaries say. If that estimate is correct, federal health spending may amount to about 27 percent of the federal government’s $3.3 trillion in 2015 revenue, down from 38 percent in 2009.