U.S. Healthcare Spending: How Much Is It and How You Can Reduce Your Spending

December 7, 2018

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U.S. Healthcare Spending: How Much Is It and How You Can Reduce Your Spending
Photo Courtesy: medtechboston.medstro.com

Do you know that the United States spent a record high of $3.4 trillion on health care in 2016? According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, we have one of the highest healthcare prices per person in the world, around $10,348 and yet in comparison to other developed nations, we have some of the lowest health outcomes.

  • 31stfor life expectancy
  • 1stfor deaths from preventable diseases 
  • 13thfor health coverage

All these rankings are in comparison to other high-income countries, who spend nearly half as much as the United States on health care. These health outcomes display that we are not having a positive return on investment. Now the question is, what can the individual do to help reduce healthcare spending?

  • Keep your health in check with preventative health services before a health issue arises. 
    • Preventative services such as cancer screenings, blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests, vaccinations etc. 
  • Choose generic over brand name drugs.
    • The U.S Food and Drug Administration make it so that generic and brand name drugs are the same. So, there is no need to reach for the more expensive brand!
  • Compare prices of healthcare providers.
    • Many times, there are many different prices from different providers for the same service, screening or test. Providers will often refer you to one of their own clinics, but do not be afraid to make calls to other outpatient providers as many times they are cheaper.

The more each person knows about our health care system and the spending involved, the more we can do to make effective changes. Stay informed and practice preventative health to help reduce your financial footprint in the U.S healthcare system.

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