US healthcare costs in 2009 totaled about $2.8 trillion, according to [pdf] a new study from Deloitte. Data from “The Hidden Costs of US Healthcare for Consumers” indicates this figure is $363 billion, or almost 15%, higher than the official National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) figure of roughly $2.5 trillion.
More than Half of Extra Cost Due to Supervisory Care
Deloitte analysis indicates more than half (55%) of this extra cost results from supervisory care. No other individual source represented anywhere this percentage of the $363 billion in extra costs. An estimated 60% of this care went to people older than age 65.
Almost all supervisory care was provided to people in lower income brackets. Around 80% (imputed value of $161 billion) of supervisory care was provided to people with family incomes of less than $50,000.
US Per Capita Healthcare Costs Equal $9K
Seniors Represent Disproportionate Percentage of Costs
Not surprisingly considering their generally greater need for healthcare services, seniors represented a disproportionately large percentage of total US healthcare costs in 2009. Although seniors comprised 13% of the population, they incurred 36%, or a little more than $1 trillion, of total healthcare expenditures.
Gen Y adults age 19-24 represented the smallest share of total US healthcare costs, just 4%, or about $100 billion.
Middle, Lower Class Represent Slightly Less than Proportional Cost Share
While Americans with a household income of $100,000 or less (roughly comprising the middle and lower economic class brackets) represented 89% of the US population in 2009, they incurred 83% of total health expenditures. Seventeen percent of total healthcare costs were incurred by those with incomes more than $100,000, who made up 11% of the population.
It is also interesting to note Individuals living in families earning less than $10,000 per year accounted for 11% of all US healthcare expenditures in 2009.
Private Insurers Cover 29% of Discretionary Costs
More than 1 in 5 US Adults Obese in Metro Areas
Likely contributing to high US healthcare costs is the fact that more than 20% of Americans were obese in 174 of the 188 U.S. metropolitan areas that the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveyed in 2010. In the most obese of these metro areas, Evansville, IN-KY, 37.8% of residents were obese, compared with 12.9% in the least obese place, Boulder, CO.