Rising prices for a wide range of goods and services have been dominating the news – and the concerns of millions of Americans – for the past year or more. From a low rate of 1.36% in December of 2020, the inflation rate for December of 2022 was 6.45%, which was down from a high of 9.06% in June of 2022. The primary drivers of inflation have been food, which averaged an increase of 10.4% over the last year, and energy, which averaged 7.4%.
12-MONTH INCREASE IN CONSUMER PRICE INDEX DECEMBER 2022
- All Items – 6.4%
- Food – 10.1%
- Energy – 8.7%
- All items less food and energy – 5.6%
Healthcare Price Inflation
In contrast, healthcare price inflation increased by a lower 4% in 2022. This is a higher rate than the previous two years, when healthcare inflation rates were 1.8% in 2020 and 2.2% in 2021, but still lower than the overall inflation rate.
This appears to be good news for medical care costs but, perhaps tellingly, the healthcare inflation rate nearly doubled over the last year, while the general inflation rate increased by a modest 6% over 2021.
Year Over Year: Dec 2021 – Dec 2022
- 6.25% - General inflation rate
- 81.8% - Healthcare inflation rate
Historically, healthcare prices have increased at a steeper rate than other consumer prices. From 2000 – 2022, the price for all consumer goods and services rose 71%, while the price of medical care rose 110%. But healthcare prices are not as volatile as most consumer prices and tend to increase in a more steady fashion, increasing between 1% and 5% each year over the past two decades.