The biggest U.S. health insurance subsidy for people under 65 is the federal income tax break for employer-sponsored health benefits, according to a new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.
The group health tax exclusion will account for about $283 billion of the $737 billion in 2019 federal health insurance subsidies for people under the normal Medicare eligibility age, the CBO estimates.
The group health tax exclusion amounts to about 38% of 2019 federal health insurance subsidies for people in the pre-Medicare age group. The share of pre-Medicare-age federal health insurance subsidies going to the group tax exclusion could rise to 44% of the total by 2029, the CBO predicts.
The group health tax subsidy will cost the federal government about $4.2 trillion over the 10-year period from 2020 through 2029, according to the new CBO projections.
The CBO is estimating that all types of federal health insurance subsidies for the pre-Medicare age group will amount to $9.9 trillion over that same 10-year period.
The Medicare Office of the Actuary has predicted that the United States will spend about $47 trillion over the 10-year period from 2018 through 2017 on all sorts of health care, including long-term care.
Medicare could account for about $18 trillion in spending over that 10-year period.