Largest Health Care Cost Increases Compared Income

For a few years now the increase in health care spending has been on a decline; however, that doesn't mean much since the increase in income has fallen far behind.

For a few years now the increase in health care spending has been on a decline; however, that doesn’t mean much to patients when income increases haven’t been on par.

Recently, Bloomberg ranked the countries with the biggest rise in health care costs relative to income. Although some countries reported income increases of as much as 8%, some countries also saw health care costs jump by 10% or more.

Bloomberg used data from 2001 to 2011 on GDP per capita, total health expenditure and health expenditure breakdowns from the International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organization and the World Bank. Countries included on the list were those with a 10-year annualized rate of health care cost increase exceeding GDP per capita, with current GDP per capita of at least $1,000 and with a population of at least 5 million.

10. Nicaragua

Annual increase in per capita health expenditure: 8.62%

Annual increase in per capita income: 4.73%

Granada

For every $1,000 increase in income, health care cost $116.52 more in Nicaragua. Plus, the country had the largest out-of-pocket amount of $49.29. Approximately 3% of income goes to out-of-pocket expenditures, according to a different Bloomberg ranking. The GDP per capita in Nicaragua is $1,754 (compared to $49,965 in the U.S.) and health care cost per capita is just $125 (compared to $8,608 in the U.S.).

9. Germany

Annual increase in per capita health expenditure: 7.35%

Annual increase in per capita income: 6.78%

Frankfurt

Germany is one of the heavier countries in the world (ranked ninth) and it is the eleventh most rapidly aging country, which will all add to increasing health care costs. Although just $16.58 comes out-of-pocket, the cost for health care went up $116.88 for every $1,000 increase in income.

8. Canada

Annual increase in per capita health expenditure: 10.11%

Annual increase in per capita income: 8.4%

Toronto

While Canada had the largest income increase in the top 10, it’s balanced out quite a bit by the fact that the percent its health care spending per capita increased was by double digits. Health costs increased by $121.97 per every $1,000 increase in income, but just $16.91 was out-of-pocket. Health costs will only increase considering Canadians have the longest lifespan in the Americas with a life expectancy at birth of nearly 81 years.

7. United Kingdom

Annual increase in per capita health expenditure: 7.17%

Annual increase in per capita income: 4.61%

Cardiff, Wales

The out-of-pocket cost in the U.K. is one of the smallest in the top 10 at just $8.86, but health care costs increased by $127.61 per $1,000 income increase. The annualized increase in per capita income in the U.K. was one of the smallest on the list. Although the U.K. population is the eleventh heaviest in the world, it has the fourteenth most efficient health care in the world.

6. Belgium

Annual increase in per capita health expenditure: 10.22%

Annual increase in per capita income: 7.48%

Ghent

In Belgium the increase in health care costs for every $1,000 increase in income was $129.12 and the out-of-pocket cost was $23.69 — the third highest on this list and the fifth costliest in Western Europe.

5. Denmark

Annual increase in per capita health expenditure: 9.32%

Annual increase in per capita income: 7.18%

Copenhagen

With health care costs increasing by more than 9% from 2001 to 2011, just slightly more than the income increase, health care costs per $1,000 increase in income came out to $130.97. Out-of-pocket costs of $16.11 were around the median among the top 10.

4. France

Annual increase in per capita health expenditure: 8.28%

Annual increase in per capita income: 6.9%

Paris

France’s out-of-pocket costs are relatively low at just $10.11, but the increase in per capita income was one of the lowest in the top 10, which meant it’s modest increase in health care expenditures came out to $131.23 for every $1,000 increase in income.

3. Greece

Annual increase in per capita health expenditure: 10.52%

Annual increase in per capita income: 8.01%

Santorini

Greece’s $48.02 out-of-pocket costs are the costliest among Western European countries, according to Bloomberg data. Despite the high unemployment (27.4%) of the last few years, Greece’s income still increased 8% from 2001 to 2011. At the same time health care costs increased by $131.47 per $1,000 increase in income.

2. Netherlands

Annual increase in per capita health expenditure: 11.21%

Annual increase in per capita income: 7.21%

Amsterdam

Health care expenditures per person increased the most in the Netherlands, but according to the data, the country has the smallest out-of-pocket costs at just $4.96, which is something at least. But, Health care from 2001 to 2011 increased by $156.19 per every $1,000 increase in income.

1. United States

Annual increase in per capita health expenditure: 5.47%

Annual increase in per capita income: 2.97%

Washington, D.C.

Although the U.S. reported the lowest annual increase in per capita health expenditure among the top 10, the country still lands the top spot because the annual increase in income was by far the smallest.

For every $1,000 increase in income, health care costs in the U.S. increased by $291.46 and $22.33 of that was out-of-pocket.