Oct 22, 2017 – US healthcare expenditure

By | October 22, 2017

It costs to be old. US healthcare expenditure by age group, 2016

Despite Affordable Care Act (ACA), the cost to insure older people is much higher but total healthcare costs flatten out after late 50s.

US healthcare expenditure

The annual average healthcare cost for an American household is $4,612, one of the highest in the world.

Although age plays a big role in our health, the expenses for those over 75 years of age is no more than 20% for those in 50s. In fact, they only pay about 50% more than what a 40 year old pays.

The biggest expense is cost of insurance. This is no surprise since the ACA makes it mandatory for all Americans to have insurance.

However, almost 20% of the healthcare expenses are related to medical services. These are the extra charges not paid by the insurance including emergency services and co-pays.

Drugs and medical supplies also have co-pays and add up to almost 20%.

Contrary to the huge debate in media, US healthcare expenditure is about 8% of the household income in 2016, based on this data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Healthcare is one of the hottest topic in US media and republican government has tried hard to keep the debate alive during multiple failed attempts to repeal ACA. Whatever the end result may be, healthcare costs are expected to go up due to large aging population and high costs of drug discovery. New gene therapies and targeted drugs are very promising but their costs can run up to several hundred thousands per patient. And they are in very early stage to scale up.

A recent trend in healthcare services is making people more responsible for their expenses through high deductible plans. Lot of employers have exclusively started offering these plans.

Another trend is to proactively monitor high-risk patients. Several studies have shown promising results, but more needs to be done.

Source: www.bls.gov: Consumer expenditure survey (data in .pdf format.xlsx format) Oct 12th, 2017.

Disclaimer: Written with heavy dose of coffee :). Let Amazon pay for my coffee, make your next Amazon purchase by going through the links here (Amazon pays small fraction of any purchase you make through this page within 24 hours).

 

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