Modest Annual Growth Until Coverage Expands And Economic Growth Accelerates (Health Affairs)
For 2011–13, US health spending is projected to grow at 4.0 percent, on average—slightly above the historically low growth rate of 3.8 percent in 2009. Preliminary data suggest that growth in consumers’ use of health services remained slow in 2011, and this pattern is expected to continue this year and next. In 2014, health spending growth is expected to accelerate to 7.4 percent as the major coverage expansions from the Affordable Care Act begin. For 2011 through 2021, national health spending is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.7 percent annually, which would be 0.9 percentage point faster than the expected annual increase in the gross domestic product during this period. By 2021, federal, state, and local government health care spending is projected to be nearly 50 percent of national health expenditures, up from 46 percent in 2011, with federal spending accounting for about two-thirds of the total government share. Rising government spending on health care is expected to be driven by faster growth in Medicare enrollment, expanded Medicaid coverage, and the introduction of premium and cost-sharing subsidies for health insurance exchange plans.