FRIDAY, April 1, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to lessen in the coming years, according to a study published online March 28 in Health Affairs.

John A. Poisal, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the expected influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the near-term outlook for national health spending and enrollment.

The researchers note that as federal supplemental funding was expected to decline substantially relative to 2020, the growth in national health spending was expected to have decelerated from 9.7 percent in 2020 to 4.2 percent in 2021. After the declines observed in 2020, health care use is expected to normalize through 2024; health insurance enrollments are anticipated to evolve toward their distributions in the prepandemic period, and the remaining federal supplemental spending is expected to decrease. For much of this period, economic growth is expected to outpace health spending growth, leading to a decrease in the projected health share of gross domestic product (GDP), from 19.7 percent in 2020 to just over 18 percent in 2022 to 2024. Factors that typically drive changes in health spending and enrollment, including economic, demographic, and health-specific factors, are expected to be the main influences on trends in the health sector for 2025 to 2030. The health spending share of the GDP is expected to reach 19.6 percent by 2030.

“While there is still considerable uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, its related health and economic impacts are projected to lessen in the next few years,” Poisal said in a statement.

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