National health expenditure growth expected to average 5.5 percent annually from 2017-2026

National health expenditure growth is expected to average 5.5 percent annually over 2017-2026, according to a report from the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Growth in national health spending is projected to be faster than projected growth in gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.0 percentage point over 2017-2026. As a result, the report projects the health share of GDP to rise from 17.9 percent in 2016 to 19.7 percent by 2026.
The outlook for national health spending and enrollment over the next decade is expected to be driven primarily by fundamental economic and demographic factors: trends in disposable personal income, increases in prices for medical goods and services, and shifts in enrollment from private health insurance to Medicare that result from the continued aging of the baby-boom generation into Medicare eligibility.
In 2018, total health spending is projected to grow by 5.3 percent, driven partly by growth in personal health care prices. Growth in personal health care prices is projected to rise to 2.2 percent in 2018 from 1.4 percent in 2017.
Among the major sectors of health care, spending growth is projected to be fastest for prescription drugs, averaging 6.3 percent for 2017-2026. This is due in part to faster projected drug price growth, particularly by the end of the period, influenced by trends in relatively costlier specialty drugs.
“Today’s report from the independent CMS Office of the Actuary shows that health care spending is expected to continue growing more quickly than the rest of the economy,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “This is yet another call to action for CMS to increase market competition and consumer choice within our programs to help control costs and ensure that our programs are available for future generations.”

Visit our News Library to read more news stories.