Consumers are still forking overincreasingly more bucks for health insurance premiums especiallythose who don't get coverage from employers and have to buy theirown. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Spending on health care reached $3.5 trillion in 2017, or about$10,739 per person, and although the rate has slowed, individuals aren't seeing muchof the benefit.

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Figures from the Trump administration's Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicareand Medicaid Services show that health spendingoverall grew at a rate of 3.9 percent last year, after rising by4.8 percent in 2016 and 5.8 percent in 2015. That rate is theslowest since 2013, prior to most provisions of the Affordable Care Act kicking in and beforeMedicaid expansion to more low-incomeadults.

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Related: Employer health spending increased 44 percent overa decade

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However, as Huffington Post points out that although therate of spending may have slowed, “the major funders of healthcare—federal and state governments and employers—all enjoyed thebenefits of slower spending growth.” Individuals, not so much.

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In fact, consumers are still forking over increasingly morebucks for health insurance premiums especially those who don't getcoverage from employers and have to buy their own. In addition, theprices of prescription drugs are still on the upswing, anddeductibles are also rising—leaving even insured people stuckshelling out for higher and higher amounts before their coverageeven kicks in.

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Says HuffPo, “The biggest factor in the return to a low rate ofincrease in overall spending appears to be slower growth in theamount of health care products and services people consumed, evenas prices for health care goods and services grew faster last yearthan in 2016.”

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An article from The Hill shares this sentiment: “Theslowdown in growth primarily affected hospitals, physician andclinical services and prescription drugs, the Centers for Medicareand Medicaid Services (CMS) said, as people used fewer goods andservices.”

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Spending on hospital care—representing 33 percent of overallhealth care spending—reached $1.1 trillion in 2017. Another 10percent went for physician and clinical services, on which spendingrose 4.2 percent to $694.3 million, with spending on prescriptiondrugs at $333.4 billion.

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The private health insurance market, accounting for 34 percentof all health care spending, rose above $1.2 trillion, withMedicare spending increasing 4.2 percent to $705.9 billion; that'scomparable to its increase in 2016. Medicaid spending, for itspart, ate up $581.9 billion.

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And spending on out-of-pocket costs such as copayments anddeductibles accounted for $365 billion.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.