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man looking at chalkboard with down arrow labeled economy and up arrow labeled COVID-19 Lower-than-expected spending on personal health care could result in lower medical loss ratios and a resulting higher value for the net cost of insurance than previously projected. (Photo: Shutterstock)

For the first time in six decades, total health spending in the United States was lower in 2020 than in the previous year.

“While spending has recovered somewhat from its pandemic-related decline in the spring, our preliminary estimate is that national health spending in 2020 was 2% lower than in 2019, a decline of about $75.8 billion,” according to a report from the nonprofit organization Altarum.

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