Average Healthcare Cost in 2019

average healthcare costsThe average healthcare cost has steadily risen in the United States for the past 59 years. In 2019, costs are projected to continue to increase. Below, we’ll explore average healthcare costs by care type, payer, state, gender, and age to give you an idea of where healthcare is headed in 2019 and beyond.

Quick Facts on the Cost of Healthcare

  • Amount of money Americans spent on personal healthcare in 2017: $2.96 trillion
  • Projected personal healthcare costs in 2019: $3.24 trillion
  • The estimated amount of money Americans borrowed for healthcare expenses in 2018: $88 billion
  • State with the highest per capita health expenditures: Alaska
  • Percent of the population with health insurance in 2018: 91%

Healthcare Costs in 2019

2019 isn’t over yet, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid project costs will continue to rise compared to prior years. National personal healthcare costs in 2019 are expected to reach $3.24 trillion. National health expenditures, which includes money spent on healthcare and health-related activities like research, is expected to reach $3.82 trillion.

The chart below breaks down these projected numbers by type of expenditure and payer, giving you an idea of the average healthcare costs in 2019. To see an explanation of each category, read their brief definitions here.

2019 Projected National Personal Healthcare Expenditures (Millions)

Total
National Health $3,823,071
Personal Health Care $3,242,500
Hospital Care $1,254,681
Physician & Clinical Services $767,598
Dental Services $139,900
Other Prof. Services $106,150
Home Healthcare $108,793
Nursing & Retirement Communities $177,995
Prescription Drugs $360,309
Durable Medical Equipment $60,882

Source: NHE Historical and Projections 1960-2027 (CMS.gov)

Here are some insights about the data displayed in the above chart:

  • 7% of all personal healthcare costs go toward hospital service expenditures, 23.7% goes to physician and clinical services, and 11% goes toward prescription drugs
  • Other non-durable medical products like non-prescription drugs and bandages is the largest out-of-pocket expense for Americans.
  • Private health insurance growth is expected to slow in 2019 as enrollment is expected to decline due to the repeal of the individual health insurance mandate
  • Out-of-pocket expenses will increase by an estimated 4.8% in 2019 since fewer people will have private insurance coverage. These expenses make up approximately 12% of total personal healthcare expenditures.
  • Prescription drug expenditures are expected to grow in 2019 by 4.6% due to anticipated increases in drug price and drug utilization

Personal Healthcare Expenditures Over Time

Personal healthcare expenditures include out-of-pocket costs and insurance premiums. From 1960 until 2017, total personal healthcare expenditures steadily increased. Looking toward the future, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees the National Health Expenditure Data, projects costs to continue to rise.

The graph below shows the total personal healthcare expenditures in millions from 2000 to 2027. Years 2000 to 2017 are historical costs while the years 2018 to 2027 are projected costs.

Personal Healthcare Expenditures Historical and Projected in Millions, 2000-2027

Year Total
2000 $1,161,528
2001 $1,261,408
2002 $1,367,133
2003 $1,477,201
2004 $1,587,492
2005 $1,695,738
2006 $1,804,295
2007 $1,918,445
2008 $2,010,669
2009 $2,114,636
2010 $2,196,088
2011 $2,274,105
2012 $2,,367,358
2013 $2,437,977
2014 $2,561,494
2015 $2,717,754
2016 $2,851,920
2017 $2,961,006
2018 $3,085,300
2019 $3,242,500
2020 $3,412,600
2021 $3,601,500
2022 $3,811,100
2023 $4,037,800
2024 $4,278,200
2025 $4,531,000
2026 $4,792,700
2027 $5,058,400

Source: National Health Expenditures By Type Of Service And Source Of Funds, CY 1960-2017 & NHE Projections 2018-2027 Table 5  

From 2018 to 2027, personal healthcare costs are expected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.64%. The personal cost of healthcare in 2019 is projected to hit an all-time high of 3.24 trillion, a 5.1% increase from the projected 2018 costs. The projected increase from 2018 to 2019 is in part due to the expanded eligibility for Medicaid in five states (Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, Utah, and Virginia).

Increases are expected from 2020 to 2027 as well. These year-over-year increases are attributed to a projected 2.7% per year increase in personal healthcare prices along with projected high utilization growth (more people needing and/or spending more on personal medical care).

Average Healthcare Cost by State

Looking at national expenditures only gives you part of the picture. Healthcare costs vary widely between states. A lot of factors are in play like access to medical care, the average age of residents, and relevant state laws.

The chart below shows the average dollar amount spent per capita by state in 2014. This is the most recent year that state-specific National Health Expenditure data was made available.

Average Yearly Personal Healthcare Costs Per Capita By State of Residence in 2014 (Dollars)

State of Residence 2014
United States $8,045
Connecticut $9,859
Maine $9,531
Massachusetts $10,559
New Hampshire $9,589
Rhode Island $9,551
Vermont $10,190
Delaware $10,254
District of Columbia $11,944
Maryland $8,602
New Jersey $8,859
New York $9,778
Pennsylvania $9,258
Illinois $8,262
Indiana $8,300
Michigan $8,055
Ohio $8,712
Wisconsin $8,702
Iowa $8,200
Kansas $7,651
Minnesota $8,871
Missouri $8,107
Nebraska $8,412
North Dakota $9,851
South Dakota $8,933
Alabama $7,281
Arkansas $7,408
Florida $8,076
Georgia $6,587
Kentucky $8,004
Louisiana $7,815
Mississippi $7,646
North Carolina $7,264
South Carolina $7,311
Tennessee $7,372
Virginia $7,556
West Virginia $9,462
Arizona $6,452
New Mexico $7,214
Oklahoma $7,627
Texas $6,998
Colorado $6,804
Idaho $6,972
Montana $8,221
Utah $5,982
Wyoming $8,320
Alaska $11,064
California $7,549
Hawaaii $7,299
Nevada $6,714
Oregon $8,044
Washington $7,913

Source: Health Expenditures by State of Residence Summary Tables, 1991-2014 Table 11

Unsurprisingly, residents of the most “remote” state in the U.S., Alaska, pay more each year for healthcare costs. The only exception is our nation’s capital. In 2014, Alaskans paid an average of $11,064 on personal healthcare. That’s 38% higher than that national average that year of $8,045. By contrast, Utah residents had the lowest per capita personal healthcare spending during that same year—only $5,982.

New England residents, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, paid more than Americans from any other region. Their average per-capita healthcare costs were $10,119, which is 25.77% more than the U.S. average.

The cheapest region for personal healthcare costs is the Rocky Mountains, which includes Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. The average cost is just $6,814—15.3% lower than the national average.

To see more specifics about the state you live in, visit the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundations State Health Facts. Choose your state from an interactive map to see information about healthcare costs and budgets, demographics, health insurance, health reform, Medicaid, and more.

Average Healthcare Costs by Gender and Age

Gender and age influence how much you’ll spend on personal healthcare too.

Total Personal Health Care Per-Capita Spending by Gender and Age Group in Dollars, 2002-2014

2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014
All Males 4,142 $4,737 $5,309 $5,842 $6,340 $6,783 $7,273
0-18 $2,087 $2,483 $2,832 $3,119 $3,407 $3,677 $3,900
19-64 $3,603 $4,109 $4,628 $5,047 $5,473 $5,841 $6,334
19-44 $2,092 $2,400 $2,674 $2,908 $3,135 $3,373 $3,711
45-64 $6,128 $6,783 $7,500 $8,049 $8,669 $9,217 $9,945
65+ $12,861 $14,326 $15,544 $16,868 $17,775 $18,156 $18,331
65-84 $12,019 $13,343 $14,507 $15,582 $16,407 $16,777 $16,959
84+ $21,757 $24,291 $25,358 $28,516 $29,614 $29,974 $30,216
2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014
All Females $5,353 $6,095 $6,774 $7,374 $7,851 $8,299 $8,811
0-18 $1,949 $2,302 $2,648 $2,913 $3,177 $3,391 $3,591
19-64 $4,785 $5,476 $6,111 $6,610 $7,033 $7,404 $7,962
19-44 $3,462 $4,013 $4,501 $4,922 $5,207 $5,551 $6,020
45-64 $6,861 $7,630 $8,343 $8,852 $9,384 $9,786 $10,466
65+ $14,005 $15,649 $17,034 $18,385 $19,061 $19,562 $19,700
65-84 $12,063 $13,351 $14,457 $15,695 $16,277 $16,783 $16,992
84+ $25,168 $28,627 $30,971 $32,589 $33,434 $34,071 $34,300

Source: Age and Gender Tables Table 7 (CMS.gov)

In general, women spend more, and all people spend more as they age. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that women in the U.S. collectively spent $1.4 trillion on personal healthcare in 2014. That was 56% of total personal healthcare spending. Men collectively spent more than $1.1 trillion. Overall per-capita spending for women in 2014 was $8,811 while for men it was only $7,273, meaning women spent 21% more.

Women out-spent men in every age group except for ages 0 to 18. This is the only age group where men out-spent women at each documented year interval. Women in the 19 to 44 age group out-spent men the most—spending 62% more. They spent $6,020 in 2014 while men only spent $3,711. The difference is associated with the high costs of maternity care.

Personal healthcare costs also increase with age regardless of gender. These increases are associated with the wear your body and mind go through as you age. Nursing care services, continuing care retirement communities, and home healthcare spending is the biggest reason for the increased spending for the 65+ age range.

The Effect of Rising Average Healthcare Costs in 2019

The cost of healthcare in 2019 is more than just numbers. In May 2019, a study done by the American Cancer Society found that within the last year, approximately 137 million adults in the U.S. experienced at least one financial struggle as a result of medical expenses.

In March 2019, West Health and Gallup released the U.S. Healthcare Cost Crisis report, which examines how healthcare costs impact personal finance and healthcare choices.

Here are some of the main findings:

  • Americans borrowed a collective $88 billion for medical expenses in 2018
  • Approximately 3 million borrowers took out $10,000 or more
  • Forty-five percent of U.S. adults are concerned that a major health event could cause them to go bankrupt
  • One in four Americans admitted to skipping a recommended medical treatment in the past year because of the price
  • 15 million Americans put off purchasing prescription drugs in the past year because of the price

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