Health care spending to rise 5.5 percent annually through 2026

United States health care spending is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.5 percent from 2017 through 2026, faster than the rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. As a result, health care spending will represent 19.7 percent of the economy by 2026, up from 17.9 percent in 2016.

Projected national health spending and enrollment growth over the next decade is largely driven by fundamental economic and demographic factors: Changes in projected income growth, increases in prices for medical goods and services and enrollment shifts from private health insurance to Medicare related to the aging of the population,

The estimates come from a new report by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published Wednesday in Health Affairs.