via Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—Growth in U.S. health-care spending quickened slightly in 2015 and will continue to rise at a moderate pace over the next decade, but not at the fast clip seen in the 20-year period before the recession, federal actuaries said Wednesday.
Spending on all health care is estimated to have grown 5.5% in 2015 compared with 5.3% growth the previous year. Growth is expected to dip to a slightly lower rate of 4.8% in 2016, according to actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Their report, published in the journal Health Affairs, projects spending growth will reach 6% in 2025.
The pickup in the past two years follows five consecutive years in which average spending growth through 2013 was less than 4% annually, the lowest rates since the government began tracking health-care spending in the 1960s.
The acceleration is largely attributed to a stronger economy, faster growth in medical prices and an aging baby boom generation. Spending growth in 2014 and 2015 was also driven by expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act because it means more people are using health services.