The average amount spent on healthcare per person reached $10,348 in 2016, surpassing $10,000 for the first time, according to an annual report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The amount is a $354 increase from the year before.
The latest findings, published in the journal Health Affairs, reflect spending on healthcare across the board, including from private health insurance, the government, employers, and individuals.
Spending by those groups grew by an average of 4.3 percent, resulting in a spending total of $3.3 trillion. The share of the gross domestic product devoted to healthcare climbed to 17.9 percent from 17.7 percent in 2015.
Hospital care accounted for the largest share of healthcare spending, at 32 percent, while spending on doctors accounted for 20 percent. As in past years, spending on prescription drugs made up 10 percent of total healthcare spending.
The total represents a slowing in growth from the year before, when spending increased by 5.8 percent, and from 2014, when spending increased by 5.1 percent. That occurred largely because of Obamacare, when more people were covered by health insurance and more were using more healthcare services. Though Obamacare was signed into law in 2010, spending didn't accelerate until 2014 when portions of the law became active, allowing people to enroll in government-funded Medicaid and through the exchanges, which offer federal subsidies to low- and middle-income people.
In 2016, the number of people signing up for healthcare coverage flattened out because the people who wanted coverage or were able to access it were done enrolling. Also contributing to the overall slowing was a deceleration in spending on prescription drugs and a slowdown in people's use of other healthcare services such as doctor and hospital visits.
Though it slowed, the spending growth for 2016 is still higher than the years following the recession, from 2008 to 2013, when the average rate of increase was at a historic low of 3.8 percent per year.
"After the Great Recession, which ended in 2009, healthcare spending and the GDP increased at similar rates for four consecutive years from 2010 to 2013," said Micah Hartman, a statistician at the Office of the Actuary at CMS and lead author of the Health Affairs article. "And in 2014 and 2015 there was faster growth in healthcare spending mainly due to the Affordable Care Act enrollment expansion as well as rapid growth in retail prescription drug spending."
Those changes led to a 2 percentage point increase in healthcare's share of the economy during the past decade. In 2007, healthcare made up 15.9 percent of GDP. The 0.2 percent average annual increase since that time is about the same as what the annual average has been during the past half-century.
The report concludes that the results "may be an initial indication that this year marks a return to the more typical relationship between annual rates of growth in healthcare spending and growth in nominal GDP."
"As a result, future healthcare expenditure trends are expected to be mostly influenced by changes in economic conditions and demographics, as has historically been the case," the report continues. CMS actuaries will release projections about the next 10 years during the summer.