What You Need to Know
- CMS actuaries say overall health care spending increased 9.7%.
- Federal government health care spending climbed 36%.
- Total national health care spending increased to $4.1 trillion, from $3.8 trillion.
Health expenditures made up nearly a fifth of the U.S. economy in 2020, a 2 percentage-point increase in the share they made up in 2019, due to the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall Medicare enrollment increased only 2.1% in 2020, down from a projected growth rate of 2.7%, partly because COVID-19 killed so many Americans ages 65 and older.
Micah Hartman and other analysts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary touched on the effects of the pandemic on Medicare enrollment in a new reporting on national health care spending in 2020.
Total U.S. health expenditures increased to $4.1 trillion in 2020, from $3.8 trillion in 2019.
U.S. gross domestic product fell 2.2% over that period, to $21 trillion, or $63,482 per person.
Because of the sharp increase in health expenditures, and the decrease in GDP, the share of GDP tied to health spending increased to 19.7% in 2020, from 17.6% the year before.
Federal government spending on health care increased 36%, to $1.5 trillion, but, because of the increase in federal spending, and because COVID-19 reduced the use of routine health care in 2020, private health insurers’ spending fell 1.2%, to $1.15 trillion.
A Year Unlike Any Other
CMS has posted the 2020 National Health Expenditure Accounts spreadsheets, which are in the public domain, on its website.
The actuaries have also published a paper interpreting the data behind a paywall, in an academic journal, Health Affairs.