Children's Health Spending: 2009-2012

The Children's Health Care Spending: 2009-2012 presents the most up-to-date data on health care spending trends for children under age 19 covered by employer-sponsored, private health insurance.

2010 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

Executive Summary

The Children's Health Care Spending: 2009-2012 report shows that spending on health care for privately insured children increased between 2009 and 2012, rising an average 5.5 percent a year, with more dollars spent on boys than girls, and higher spending on infants and toddlers (ages 0-3) than any other children’s age group.

Key Findings from this Report

  • Per capita spending on children reached $2,437 in 2012, a $363 increase from 2009.
  • Spending on babies and toddlers was the highest of any age group examined, at an average of $4,446 per baby in 2012.
  • Until age 14, boys had higher health care spending than girls, and boys of all ages had a higher share of spending on prescriptions.
  • Use of Central Nervous System (CNS) drugs by younger children (ages 4-8), pre-teens (ages 9-13), and teens (ages 14-18) rose over time, and in each age group boys had higher use of CNS drugs than girls.
  • Slightly more than 17 percent of health care spending per child was paid out of pocket between 2009 and 2012.
  • There was rising use of mental health services by teens, and there were more Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) admissions for girls than for boys in all years studied.

Download the Report (PDF)
Download the Report Appendices (PDF)
Read the Press Release »
Issue Brief: Children's Health Spending (PDF)

Chart: Spending on Teen Health Rising