Healthcare Cost Increases Outpace Economic Growth, According to Government Report

Health care spending will outpace the nation’s overall economic growth over the next decade, US News and World Report described in its article, The respite’s over for health care spending: Growth in nation’s tab will outpace economy, quoting a recent government report. From US News,

Health care spending will outpace the nation’s overall economic growth over the next decade, the government forecast on Tuesday, highlighting a challenge for the next president, not to mention taxpayers, businesses and individual Americans.

A combination of expanded insurance coverage under President Barack Obama’s law, an aging population, and rising demand will be squeezing society’s ability to pay.

By 2019, midway through the next president’s term, health care spending will be increasing at roughly 6 percent a year, compared to an average annual rise of 4 percent from 2008 through 2013.

For more information on healthcare costs as compared to economic growth, read the full article from US News and World Report.

The Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services annually produces projections of health care spending for categories within the National Health Expenditure Accounts, which track health spending by source of funds, by type of service, and by sponsor. The latest projections begin after the latest historical year (2013) and go through 2024. Access the whole government report here.

Rising costs of healthcare affect county governments, who typically provide a relatively high-level of health care to their employees. Counties have experimented with wellness programs, and other approaches to healthcare to keep costs down. At the recent MACo Conference, Chesapeake Employers Insurance Company described the costs associated with new drug treatment programs. For more information, see our previous post, Ripples and Currents in Workers’ Compensation, A Discussion at #MACoCon. For more information on a tax associated with the Affordable Care Act that could increase health insurance costs for counties, see our previous post, Swerve-to-Avoid the Cadillac Tax, Advice from the Experts.