2022 edition — Health care costs 101

National health spending in 2020 increased 9.7% from 2019 to $4.1 trillion. The increase was largely due to increased federal spending during the COVID-19 pandemic. Excluding federal public health and other federal program spending, national spending rose only 1.9% in 2020 after a 4.3% increase in 2019. A 2.2% reduction in GDP was increased health care’s share of the economy to 19.7%, up from 17.6% in 2019. Health care spending averaged $12,530 per person, up from $11,462 in 2019.

Key findings on US healthcare spending in 2020 include:

  • U.S. healthcare spending rose 9.7% in 2020, the largest annual increase since 2002 and double the growth rate of 4.3% in 2019.
  • Personal spending and private insurance fell in 2020, by 3.2% and 1.2%, respectively.
  • Public health spending (federal and state) in 2020 more than doubled (113%). Most of the increase occurred in federal spending.
  • Federal government health spending increased by 36%.
  • The federal government’s share of total health spending has increased from 29% in 2019 to 36% in 2020.
  • New federal health spending during the COVID-19 pandemic included:
    • Medicaid spending increased 18.8% from $387 billion in 2019 to $460 billion in 2020, which included an increase in the percentage of federal medical assistance to states for Medicaid.
    • Supplier relief payments, including $122 billion under the Supplier Relief Fund and $53 billion under the Paycheck Protection Program.
    • Public health spending, including $112 billion for vaccine development, testing, inventory and grants to states and $1.5 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for test monitoring and viral sequencing.

This quick reference guide is available for download below, and the full report will be available later this year. These documents are part of the CHCF’s California Health Care Almanac, an online clearinghouse for key data and analysis describing the state’s health care landscape. View our comprehensive collection of current and past editions of Health Care Costs 101.

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