National health spending hit record high in 2015

December 22, 2016

shutterstock_64541557Total spending on health care in the United States increased 5.8 percent in 2015, reaching a whopping $3.2 trillion.

That’s an average of nearly $10,000 per person, according to a study by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports that coverage expansion through the Affordable Care Act, continued growth in Medicaid and costly prescription drug prices drove up the tab.

In 2015, prices for existing brand-name drugs increased by double-digits for the fourth consecutive year, according to the federal government. Retail spending on prescription drugs reached $324.6 billion – making up 10 percent of the nation’s health care costs.

The HHS report was published online by Health Affairs, a journal covering the intersection of health, health care and policy.