The average healthcare cost has steadily risen in the United States for the past 59 years. In 2019, costs are projected to continue to increase. Below, we’ll explore average healthcare costs by care type, payer, state, gender, and age to give you an idea of where healthcare is headed in 2019 and beyond.
Quick Facts on the Cost of Healthcare
- Amount of money Americans spent on personal healthcare in 2017: $2.96 trillion
- Projected personal healthcare costs in 2019: $3.24 trillion
- The estimated amount of money Americans borrowed for healthcare expenses in 2018: $88 billion
- State with the highest per capita health expenditures: Alaska
- Percent of the population with health insurance in 2018: 91%
Healthcare Costs in 2019
2019 isn’t over yet, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid project costs will continue to rise compared to prior years. National personal healthcare costs in 2019 are expected to reach $3.24 trillion. National health expenditures, which includes money spent on healthcare and health-related activities like research, is expected to reach $3.82 trillion.
The chart below breaks down these projected numbers by type of expenditure and payer, giving you an idea of the average healthcare costs in 2019. To see an explanation of each category, read their brief definitions here.
2019 Projected National Personal Healthcare Expenditures (Millions)
|Personal Health Care||$3,242,500|
|Physician & Clinical Services||$767,598|
|Other Prof. Services||$106,150|
|Nursing & Retirement Communities||$177,995|
|Durable Medical Equipment||$60,882|
Here are some insights about the data displayed in the above chart:
- 7% of all personal healthcare costs go toward hospital service expenditures, 23.7% goes to physician and clinical services, and 11% goes toward prescription drugs
- Other non-durable medical products like non-prescription drugs and bandages is the largest out-of-pocket expense for Americans.
- Private health insurance growth is expected to slow in 2019 as enrollment is expected to decline due to the repeal of the individual health insurance mandate
- Out-of-pocket expenses will increase by an estimated 4.8% in 2019 since fewer people will have private insurance coverage. These expenses make up approximately 12% of total personal healthcare expenditures.
- Prescription drug expenditures are expected to grow in 2019 by 4.6% due to anticipated increases in drug price and drug utilization
Personal Healthcare Expenditures Over Time
Personal healthcare expenditures include out-of-pocket costs and insurance premiums. From 1960 until 2017, total personal healthcare expenditures steadily increased. Looking toward the future, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees the National Health Expenditure Data, projects costs to continue to rise.
The graph below shows the total personal healthcare expenditures in millions from 2000 to 2027. Years 2000 to 2017 are historical costs while the years 2018 to 2027 are projected costs.
Personal Healthcare Expenditures Historical and Projected in Millions, 2000-2027
From 2018 to 2027, personal healthcare costs are expected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.64%. The personal cost of healthcare in 2019 is projected to hit an all-time high of 3.24 trillion, a 5.1% increase from the projected 2018 costs. The projected increase from 2018 to 2019 is in part due to the expanded eligibility for Medicaid in five states (Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, Utah, and Virginia).
Increases are expected from 2020 to 2027 as well. These year-over-year increases are attributed to a projected 2.7% per year increase in personal healthcare prices along with projected high utilization growth (more people needing and/or spending more on personal medical care).
Average Healthcare Cost by State
Looking at national expenditures only gives you part of the picture. Healthcare costs vary widely between states. A lot of factors are in play like access to medical care, the average age of residents, and relevant state laws.
The chart below shows the average dollar amount spent per capita by state in 2014. This is the most recent year that state-specific National Health Expenditure data was made available.
Average Yearly Personal Healthcare Costs Per Capita By State of Residence in 2014 (Dollars)
|State of Residence||2014|
|District of Columbia||$11,944|
Unsurprisingly, residents of the most “remote” state in the U.S., Alaska, pay more each year for healthcare costs. The only exception is our nation’s capital. In 2014, Alaskans paid an average of $11,064 on personal healthcare. That’s 38% higher than that national average that year of $8,045. By contrast, Utah residents had the lowest per capita personal healthcare spending during that same year—only $5,982.
New England residents, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, paid more than Americans from any other region. Their average per-capita healthcare costs were $10,119, which is 25.77% more than the U.S. average.
The cheapest region for personal healthcare costs is the Rocky Mountains, which includes Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. The average cost is just $6,814—15.3% lower than the national average.
To see more specifics about the state you live in, visit the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundations State Health Facts. Choose your state from an interactive map to see information about healthcare costs and budgets, demographics, health insurance, health reform, Medicaid, and more.
Average Healthcare Costs by Gender and Age
Gender and age influence how much you’ll spend on personal healthcare too.
Total Personal Health Care Per-Capita Spending by Gender and Age Group in Dollars, 2002-2014
In general, women spend more, and all people spend more as they age. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that women in the U.S. collectively spent $1.4 trillion on personal healthcare in 2014. That was 56% of total personal healthcare spending. Men collectively spent more than $1.1 trillion. Overall per-capita spending for women in 2014 was $8,811 while for men it was only $7,273, meaning women spent 21% more.
Women out-spent men in every age group except for ages 0 to 18. This is the only age group where men out-spent women at each documented year interval. Women in the 19 to 44 age group out-spent men the most—spending 62% more. They spent $6,020 in 2014 while men only spent $3,711. The difference is associated with the high costs of maternity care.
Personal healthcare costs also increase with age regardless of gender. These increases are associated with the wear your body and mind go through as you age. Nursing care services, continuing care retirement communities, and home healthcare spending is the biggest reason for the increased spending for the 65+ age range.
The Effect of Rising Average Healthcare Costs in 2019
The cost of healthcare in 2019 is more than just numbers. In May 2019, a study done by the American Cancer Society found that within the last year, approximately 137 million adults in the U.S. experienced at least one financial struggle as a result of medical expenses.
In March 2019, West Health and Gallup released the U.S. Healthcare Cost Crisis report, which examines how healthcare costs impact personal finance and healthcare choices.
Here are some of the main findings:
- Americans borrowed a collective $88 billion for medical expenses in 2018
- Approximately 3 million borrowers took out $10,000 or more
- Forty-five percent of U.S. adults are concerned that a major health event could cause them to go bankrupt
- One in four Americans admitted to skipping a recommended medical treatment in the past year because of the price
- 15 million Americans put off purchasing prescription drugs in the past year because of the price
Compare the Best Student Loan Refinance Rates
Here are our top student loan refinance picks for 2019
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Student Debt Relief Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
College Ave: College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. (1)The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. (2)$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. (3)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Information advertised valid as of 1/27/2021. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
ELFI: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for refinancing or student loans consolidation through ELFI, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved post-secondary institution.
LendKey: Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate.
Splash Financial: Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval.com
Earnest: To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest’s fixed-rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with autopay) to 7.89% APR (with autopay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with autopay) to 7.27% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 0.26% and 5.03% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 23, 2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay Discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/23/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice.
Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
Ascent: Ascent’s undergraduate and graduate student are funded by Bank of Lake Mills or DR Bank, each Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 11/1/2023 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: AscentFunding.com/Rates. 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.
*The minimum amount is $2,001 except for the state of Massachusetts. Minimum loan amount for borrowers with a Massachusetts permanent address is $6,001.