Future National Healthcare Spending Growth Not as High as Previous Decade

The CMS estimates that out-of-pocket costs will decrease in the next decade.

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released their projections for national health spending for the next decade.

CMS estimated an average increase in healthcare spending growth of 5.8% each year from 2015 to 2025, which is lower than the previous 2 decades. Overall healthcare costs were estimated to have been $3.2 trillion last year.

The report, published by Health Affairs, also found that medical price growth projects at a very low cost, and will help restrain overall spending. It is predicted that recent changes to Medicare payments could also potentially decrease spending growth even further.

The CMS also predicted that national health spending will decrease from 5.5% in 2015 to 4.8% in 2016. They attribute this to less people needing to enroll in Medicaid and marketplace insurance plans due to the decreasing amount of uninsured people.

Medical price inflation decreased from 1.4% in 2014 to 0.8% in 2015; however, researchers did discover that hospital prices increased by 0.9%. Out-of-pocket costs, something many Americans are increasingly concerned about, is projected to decrease from 10.9% in 2014 to 9.9% in 2025.

The CMS also estimates that 92% of the population will be insured by 2025. Even prescription drug costs are expected to decrease from 12.2% in 2014 to 6.7% on average per year through 2025.

“The Affordable Care Act continues to help keep overall health spending growth at a modest level and at a lower growth rate than the previous two decades. This progress is occurring while also helping more Americans get coverage, often for the first time,” said CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt in a press release. “Per-capita spending and medical inflation also remain at historically very modest levels, demonstrating the importance of continuing to reform our delivery systems. As we look to the future we must continue our efforts that keep people healthy, providing access to affordable, quality care, while spending smarter across all categories of care delivery.”