by Jinghong Chen

Total U.S. health care spending increased 4.6% to reach $3.8 trillion in 2019, according to CMS’s Office of the Actuary. Medicare spending experienced a higher growth rate in 2019 than in 2018, increasing by 6.7% compared with 6.3%. Meanwhile, private health insurance spending growth slowed from 5.6% in 2018 to 3.7% in 2019. The relatively stable rise in overall health care expenditures reflected faster growth in spending for hospital care, physician and clinical services, and retail prescription drugs, which was offset by a decline in the net cost of health insurance due to a suspension of the health insurance tax in 2019.

NOTE: “Other Health Insurance Programs” include Children’s Health Insurance Program (Titles XIX and XXI), Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. Dollar amounts shown are in current dollars. Percent changes are calculated from unrounded data.

SOURCE: CMS, Office of the Actuary, National Health Statistics Group. Visit