The massive expansion of insurance coverage under the health law and rapid growth in specialty drug spending fueled the uptick in medical costs, officials said. Annual spending growth was 3.7%, on average, during the last five years.
The country spent $9,523 per person on healthcare in 2014, including Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance. That’s far higher than what other developed countries pay, and healthcare spending now accounts for 17.5% of the U.S. economy.
Experts aren’t predicting a return to double-digit increases in medical spending. But the latest trend underscores how difficult it will be for policymakers, employers and insurers to control healthcare costs going forward.