Nation's Health Care Costs Will Double by 2020

A new report by the Medicare Office of the Actuary estimated that health spending will grow by an average of 5.8 percent a year through 2020, compared to 5.7 percent without the health overhaul. With that growth,  the nation is expected to spend $4.6 trillion on health care in 2020, nearly double the $2.6 trillion spent last year.

However, the report estimates that spending on health will accelerate this year because the economy is expected to improve and people would have more disposable income to spend on medical care.

In 2014, when the major coverage expansions of the health law begin to take effect, national health spending is expected to grow 8.3 percent. But spending growth should return to its 6 percent historical average from 2015 to 2020 as some employers drop coverage and the so called "Cadillac tax" on high-cost insurance plans takes effect in 2018.

The number of Americans with employer-sponsored insurance will grow from 163 million last year to 170 million in 2014, the report estimated. But by 2020 that number is expected to drop to 168 million as a result of two factors: Baby Boomers joining Medicare and employers dropping health coverage for workers. 

To read a more in depth summary of the report, click here.

To read the report itself, click here.  

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