Current Health Expenditure Per Capita (USD) (2016): $889
Current Health Expenditure as Percentage of Gross Domestic Product (%) (2016): 7.6%
Domestic General Government Health Expenditure as Percentage of General Government Expenditure (%) (2016): 29.2%
Population with household expenditures on health greater than 10% of total household expenditure or income (2009-2015) (%): 10.1%
Population with household expenditures on health greater than 25% of total household expenditure or income (2009-2015) (%): 1.8%
Source: World health statistics 2019: monitoring health for the SDGs, sustainable development goals. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2019. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Annual household out-of-pocket payment, constant USD per capita (2018): $204
Source: Global Health Expenditure Database. Health expenditure series. Geneva: World Health Organization. Last accessed Jan. 14, 2021.
Out-of-Pocket Spending as Share of Final Household Consumption (%) (2017): 2.6%
Source: OECD (2019), Health at a Glance 2019: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/4dd50c09-en.
“Costa Rica’s total health care expenditure went up from 6.5% of GDP in 1995 to 9.3% of GDP in 2014. As a percentage of GDP Costa Rica, thus, spends slightly more on health than the average of 8.9% of GDP among OECD economies. In 2014, public spending in Costa Rica corresponded to 73% of total health spending, which is equal to the OECD average (OECD, 2016). With OOP levels being 25%, only 2% of the total health expenditure in Costa Rica is paid through private insurance schemes, as compared to the OECD averages of 19% and 6% respectively (see Figure 1.11). Out-of-pocket spending is discussed in more detail in Chapter 2.
“Total health expenditure in Costa Rica was USD PPP 1 3804 per capita in 2013, which is 2.5 times less than the OECD average of USD PPP 3 453 per capita (OECD, 2016; see Figure 1.12). Differences in local prices are likely to explain much of this difference. Nevertheless, the fact that health indicators and health insurance coverage are as good as those of many OECD countries spending much higher per capita sums, suggests relatively good value for the money achieved by Costa Rica’s health system.
“Notably, Costa Rica has chosen to invest in prevention and public health services. From 2002 to 2006, the expenditure in prevention and public health services in Costa Rica was between 6-7% of total expenditure on health, as compared to only 2-3% in comparable OECD countries such as Chile and Mexico (WHO, 2016b). In the long run, this focus on prevention and public health is likely to be cost-effective and bring about important public health benefits.”
Source: OECD (2017), OECD Reviews of Health Systems: Costa Rica 2017, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264281653-en.
Health Systems Facts is a project of the Real Reporting Foundation. We provide reliable statistics and other data from authoritative sources regarding health systems in the US and several other nations.
Page last updated April 3, 2021 by Doug McVay, Editor.