Healthcare costs statistics: what is the average cost of healthcare in the US?

1 min readLast updated March 28, 2024by Unbiased team

Dive into the world of healthcare cost statistics and understand the financial landscape of healthcare in the United States.


  • The US spends approximately $4.5 trillion annually on healthcare, averaging at $13,493 per person. 

  • Healthcare costs have experienced a steady ascent, increasing from 5% of GDP in 1962 to 17% in 2022. 

  • Without medical insurance, healthcare expenses can escalate significantly.  

  • Hospital care claimed the largest share of healthcare spending, at 31.1%, followed by physician services, at 14.9%, in 2021. 

What is the cost of healthcare in America? 

The United States stands out globally for its exorbitant healthcare cost statistics.  

With an annual expenditure of $4.5 trillion, averaging $13,493 per person, the US is ahead of other developed nations in terms of healthcare expenditure per capita.  

What's striking is the consistently rising healthcare costs in America.  

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, which further strained healthcare resources, the cost of healthcare in America was climbing steadily. 

From constituting a mere 5% of GDP in 1962, healthcare spending has ballooned to a staggering 17% in 2022.  

This relentless rising healthcare costs statistics pose significant financial challenges for individuals, families, and the healthcare system as a whole. 

How much does healthcare cost with medical insurance? 

Medical or health insurance serves as a crucial safeguard against hefty healthcare expenses.  

The average cost of healthcare in America for a 30-year-old varies depending on the type of plan chosen.  

According to Forbes, Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans, which offer a narrower network of providers, cost an average of $466 per month.  

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans, which require referrals for specialist care, come in slightly lower at $427 per month.  

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, providing greater flexibility in choosing healthcare providers, command a higher average monthly cost of $512.  

While medical insurance helps alleviate some financial burdens, it is critical to remain vigilant about understanding each plan's coverage limitations and out-of-pocket expenses. 

How much does healthcare cost without medical insurance? 

Healthcare expenses can quickly spiral out of control for the uninsured, posing significant financial hardship.  

According to International Insurance, the cost of emergency healthcare in America is enormous, with even ambulance costs adding to your growing expenses. Ambulance services alone range from $400 to over $1,200, while air ambulance services can soar from $2,000 to an eye-watering $200,000.  

International Insurance’s healthcare cost data also states that cancer treatment expenses vary widely, with costs for breast cancer treatment ranging from $48,000 to $300,000. Common medical tests, such as MRI scans, can cost anywhere from $500 to $7,850.  

Similarly, essential medications like insulin can incur expenses ranging from $530 to $1,000.  

Family planning costs, such as prenatal care, can range from $100 to $2,000, depending on the complexity and duration of care.  

Surgical procedure costs depend on factors such as the type of surgery and the provider's fees.  

A hysterectomy may cost anywhere from $8,700 to $40,000, while a coronary bypass will set you back anything between $21,500 and $254,000.  

Even treating common injuries like breaks and sprains can be financially daunting, with hip fracture costs ranging from $16,000 to $53,000.  

These staggering healthcare cost statistics underscore the critical importance of having adequate medical insurance coverage or seeking alternative means of financial assistance. 

Where does the spending on healthcare go? 

Understanding the average cost of healthcare in the US and the allocation of healthcare spending provides valuable insights into the structure and priorities of the healthcare system.  

According to the AMA, this spending can be broken down into the following categories: 

  • Hospital care 

  • Physician services 

  • Clinical services 

  • Prescription drugs 

  • Nursing care facilities 

  • Home health care 

  • Other personal health care costs 

  • Government administration 

  • Net cost of health insurance 

  • Government public health activities 

  • Investment spending 

In 2021, the healthcare cost data revealed that hospital care claimed the largest portion of healthcare spending, accounting for 31.1% of total expenditure.  

Physician services followed closely behind, comprising 14.9% of total spending, reflecting the essential role of primary and specialty care providers.  

Why are healthcare costs rising? 

Several factors contribute to the rising cost of healthcare in America.  

Population growth, which increased by 0.53% in 2024 compared to the previous year, strains healthcare resources with increased demand for healthcare services.  

An aging population also adds pressure to the system, with the number of individuals aged 65 and over rising from 14% in 2012 to 17% in 2022.  

Rising prices for healthcare products and services further exacerbate the financial burden on individuals and the healthcare system. 

What factors affect healthcare costs? 

Various factors influence the cost of healthcare in America.  

According to Peterson-KFF, health expenditures vary across the population, with health status, insurance coverage, age distribution, and access to care all playing integral roles in determining healthcare costs.  

Peterson-KFF confirms that in terms of health status, around 90% of the US population reported "good" or better health, with only 2% reporting poor health. However, health status tends to decline with age. Among individuals aged 65 and over, 20% rate their health as "fair" or "poor," compared to 8% of those under 65. 

Health spending varies based on insurance coverage and the average cost of healthcare in the US.  

For instance, privately insured individuals with depression and/or anxiety spend almost twice as much out-of-pocket compared to those without mental health diagnoses. Approximately three in four Asian and White individuals are enrolled in private health plans, compared to one in two Black and Hispanic individuals. 

People aged 55 and over account for over half of total health spending despite comprising only 31% of the population. Among adults aged 18-64, 53% of all health expenditures are concentrated in the top 5% of spenders. This percentage is similar for adults aged 65 and over. 

Get expert financial advice 

From the staggering $4.5 trillion annual expenditure to the disparities in spending across different age groups, insurance coverage types, and health conditions, these healthcare cost statistics paint a vivid picture of the financial intricacies within the US healthcare system.  

A trusted financial advisor can help you make informed decisions about managing your healthcare expenses effectively.  

Unbiased can match you with a financial advisor who will provide the financial advice you need to navigate the ever-changing terrain of healthcare costs with confidence and clarity. 

Find a financial advisor


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.