Americans are spending billions of dollars out of pocket for what’s considered “complementary health” approaches.
A report released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from the 2012 National Health Interview Statistics and found that Americans spent $30.2 billion a year on healthcare that falls outside mainstream medical care. That encompasses everything from acupuncture, to yoga, to natural product supplements.
Here’s how that spending broke down, with the most being spent on natural supplements (excluding vitamins and minerals) and visits to practitioners who provide the complementary healthcare:
That $30.2 billion represents just 1.1% of total healthcare spending in a year, the CDC noted. But, when looking just at out-of-pocket costs (or what patients are actually paying after insurance, etc.), it made up 9.2% of total costs per year. That’s on par with what people are paying for doctor’s visits and prescription drugs, the report concluded.