National Health Spending Increased 9.3 Percent Between 2001 and 2002; Sixth Consecutive Year of Faster Growth

March 2004, Vol. 25, No. 3
Paperback, 20 pp.
PDF, 636 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2004

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Executive Summary

National Health Spending Increased 9.3 Percent Between 2001 and 2002; Sixth Consecutive Year of Faster Growth—National health expenditures increased 9.3 percent between 2001 and 2002, reaching nearly $1.6 trillion. As a percentage of gross domestic product, national health spending rose to 14.9 percent in 2002 from 14.1 percent in 2001 and 13.3 percent in 2000. In 2002, private-sector health spending accounted for 54.1 percent of national health spending, and the public sector accounted for 45.9 percent. The proportion paid for by private sources has decreased over time, while the proportion paid for by public sources has increased. In 1970, for example, private sources paid for 62.1 percent of national health expenditures, and public sources paid for 37.8 percent.

Health Insurance Coverage of Individuals Ages 55-64, 1994-2002—EBRI estimates from the March 2003 Current Population Survey reveal that children and adults ages 55-64 were the most likely age groups to have health insurance coverage in 2002. The likelihood of individuals ages 55-64 being uninsured (12.9 percent) in that year was no greater than it was in 1994. However, future retired adults in this age group may be more likely to be uninsured if employer cutbacks to retiree health benefits affect them and they have no other means of obtaining health insurance.