The healthcare industry in the United States has experienced steady growth over the past decade while simultaneously promoting quality, efficiency, and access to care.
Between 2012 and 2019, profit pools (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or EBITDA) grew at a compound average growth rate of roughly 5 percent. This growth was aided in part by incremental healthcare spending that resulted from the 2010 Affordable Care Act. In 2020, subsidies for qualified individual purchasers on the marketplaces and expansion of Medicaid coverage resulted in roughly $130 billion 1 2 of incremental healthcare spending by the federal government.
The next three years are expected to be less positive for the economics of the healthcare industry, as profit pools are more likely to be flat. COVID-19 has led to the potential for economic headwinds and a rebalancing of system funds. Current unemployment rates (6.9 percent as of October 2020) 3 indicate some individuals may move from employer-sponsored insurance to other options. It is expected that roughly between $70 billion and $100 billion in funding may leave the healthcare system by 2022, compared with the expected trajectory pre-COVID-19. The outflow is driven by coverage shifts out of employer-sponsored insurance, product buy-downs, and Medicaid rate pressures from states, partially offset by increased federal spending in the form of subsidies and cost sharing in the Individual market and in Medicaid funding.