National Health Spending Recovered in August After Pandemic-Driven Dropoff

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, national health spending dropped significantly starting in March 2020, relative to 2019 levels. But by August, spending levels bounced back to normal, with just a 0.2% increase year over year, according to a report by the nonprofit research and consulting organization Altarum. Almost all major health spending categories saw decreases in August compared to the same time last year, while expenditures on prescription drugs and home health care went up 5.5% and 7.0%, respectively. Spending on prescription drugs is the only category in which August spending exceeds its January level, recovering to be 2.6% higher than in January.

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Jinghong Chen

Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong has been producing infographics and data stories on employer-sponsored insurance, public health insurance programs and prescription drug coverage for AIS Health’s Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits since 2018. She also manages AIS Health’s annual executive compensation database for top insurers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates. Before joining AIS Health, she interned at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting.

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