The National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) are published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and are the official estimates of total national healthcare spending.  CMS began releasing the NHEA in 1960. The NHEA measures annual U.S. expenditures for healthcare goods and services, public health activities, program administration, the net cost of private insurance, and research and other investment related to healthcare. The data are presented by type of service, sources of funding and sponsors.

According to CMS, U.S. healthcare spending continued to grow in 2008, increasing 4.4 percent compared to 6.0 percent in 2007. This increase was the lowest in healthcare spending since 1980. Total health expenditures reached $2.3 trillion, which translates to $7,681 per person or 16.2 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Data for 2009 has not yet been released.

Through its Office of the Actuary, CMS releases each year projections of healthcare spending for those same categories as are measured in the NHEA.

An overview of NHEA and projection methodologies can be found on the CMS website as well as NHEA historical data. Also available from CMS are the actuarial projections .