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Health Care Spending Expected to Rise in 2014 Through 2023

Insurance coverage under ACA, aging, economic growth driving future spending increases

MONDAY, Sept. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- While health spending growth was slow in 2013, health spending is expected to increase in 2014 and remain higher through 2023, according to a study published online Sept. 3 in Health Affairs.

Andrea M. Sisko, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Baltimore, and colleagues assessed national health spending growth from 2013 to 2023.

The researchers found that 2013 health spending growth remained slow, at 3.6 percent, due to the sluggish economic recovery, the effects of sequestration, and continued increases in private health insurance cost-sharing requirements. In 2014, health spending growth (expected 5.6 percent) is being fueled by the combined effects of the Affordable Care Act's coverage expansions, faster economic growth, and population aging. This growth will continue at a projected rate of 6.0 percent per year for 2015 through 2023. This projected rate of increase will remain slower than the 7.2 percent average growth experienced during 1990 to 2008. The health share of the gross domestic product is expected to rise from 17.2 percent in 2012 to 19.3 percent in 2023 because health spending is projected to grow 1.1 percentage points faster than the average economic growth during the period.

"The period in which health care has accounted for a stable share of economic output is projected to end in 2014, primarily because of the coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act," the authors write.

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