How Have Health Care Utilization and Spending Changed So Far During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Note: this chart collection has been updated as of March 23, 2021 to incorporate the latest data. 

This issue brief summarizes what is known so far about how health costs and utilization have changed during the pandemic. The analysis finds that the drop in health spending in 2020 reflects a decrease in utilization for non-COVID medical care; particularly early in the pandemic, it appears many people delayed or went without medical care they otherwise would have received. Although healthcare use picked up toward the end of the year, it was not enough to compensate for the missed care earlier in the year.

The issue brief is available in full on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system. For more data, analysis, polling and journalism on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our resource page on

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