The 2017 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report shows that spending per privately insured person grew by 4.2 percent, the second year in a row of spending growth over four percent. Price increases were the primary driver. The report covers the period 2013 through 2017 and includes claims data from four national insurance companies: Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and UnitedHealthcare.
In 2017, per-person spending reached $5,641, a new all-time high for this population since HCCI began releasing annual health care cost and utilization reports. This total includes amounts paid for medical and pharmacy claims. While it reflects discounts negotiated from wholesale or list prices for prescription drugs, it does not account for manufacturer rebates provided in separate transactions, because these data are not available.
Spending per-person grew at a rate above 4% for the second year in a row, rising 4.2% from 2016 to 2017. That rate is slower than the 2015 to 2016 rate of 4.9% (revised up from previous report).
The overall use of health care services changed very little over the 2013 to 2017 period, declining 0.2%. In 2017, utilization grew 0.5% compared to 2016.
Average prices increased 3.6% in 2017. Year-over-year price growth decelerated throughout the five-year period, rising 4.8% between 2013 and 2014 and slowing to 3.6% in 2016 and 2017. That trend reflects a slowing in the year-over-year changes in average point-of-sale prescription drug prices.
Out-of-pocket spending per-person increased 2.6% in 2017. The growth was slower than the rise in total spending, so out-of-pocket costs comprised a smaller share of spending by 2017.