Health spending distribution of U.S. state and local government 2013-2017

This statistic illustrates the health spending distribution of state and local government in the United States from 2013 to 2017. In 2016, 38 percent of state and local government health spending in the U.S. was spent on Medicaid.

Health spending distribution

Health spending by the state and local government in the United States is divided among four major categories. As of 2017, 38 percent of spending was dedicated to Medicaid, 32 percent to private insurance premiums, 27 percent to other health programs, and two percent to Medicare payroll tax for state and local workers. In 1960, the majority of spending on prescription medications came from the consumer’s pocket, today out-of-pocket spending for prescriptions has decreased to about 13 percent.

Among OECD countries, the United States spends the largest portion of its gross domestic product on health care expenditures, totaling 17.2 percent in 2017. In comparison, the United Kingdom spent about 9.6 percent of the nation’s GDP on health care. High income countries spend over 4,600 U.S. dollars per capita compared to the world average of around 1,000 U.S. dollars per person. Health care spending in the United States has steadily risen over the last decades. In 1970, 355 U.S. dollars was expended on health care per capita in the United States; until 2017, this figure had risen to 10,739 U.S. dollars per capita. The increase in health care expenditure in the country may lie in parallel with the increase in premiums. Spending for hospitals, physicians, specialists, and dentists are significantly higher than other high income countries. Health care provider prices are especially high in the U.S. due to greater access to medical technologies as well as the obesity epidemic in the country.

Health spending distribution of state and local government in the United States from 2013 to 2017

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Release date

May 2019


United States

Survey time period

2013 to 2017

Supplementary notes

Health spending refers to national health expenditures. Not shown: other private revenues, which includes philanthropy, privately funded structures and equipment, and investment income. Medicaid buy-in premiums for Medicare are reflected under Medicaid. Figures may not add due to rounding.
2013-2016 values were quoted from previous editions of "California Health Care Almanac - Health Care Costs 101".

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Statistics on "Health expenditures in the U.S."

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