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Medicaid spending as a percent of total U.S. health expenditure by service 2017

Medicaid continues to provide comprehensive long-term care in the United States. In 2017, the program was estimated to have paid for 36 percent of all home health care and 30 percent of nursing home care. In addition, Medicaid covered nearly 60 percent of other health, personal, and residential care, which includes payments for intermediate care facilities and other home- and community-based services.

Health care spending in the U.S.

Medicaid expenditure accounted for around 17 percent of all U.S. health expenditures in 2017, and this share is expected to remain stable over the coming years. Overall, health spending in the United States totaled 3.6 trillion U.S. dollars in 2018 – hospital care continues to be the largest spending category. Around 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars was spent on hospital care in 2018, and expenditures are projected to continue on an upward trajectory.

The high price of hospital care

Medicare and Medicaid spend significant amounts of money on national health services, but for both programs, hospital care is the largest expense category. Hospital care spending by both Medicare and Medicaid grew by around 20 percent between 2013 and 2018. During the same period, private health insurance spending in this service category accelerated, rising by approximately 133 billion U.S. dollars.

Medicaid expenditure as a percentage of total U.S. health expenditure in 2009 and 2017, by service category*

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period

2009 and 2017

Supplementary notes

* Calendar year 2009 and 2017.
2009 values were quoted from an older edition of the same CMS report.

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Statistics on "Medicaid/CHIP"

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