Total Health Spending, USD PPP Per Capita (2020): $1,622.4
(Note: “Health spending measures the final consumption of health care goods and services (i.e. current health expenditure) including personal health care (curative care, rehabilitative care, long-term care, ancillary services and medical goods) and collective services (prevention and public health services as well as health administration), but excluding spending on investments. Health care is financed through a mix of financing arrangements including government spending and compulsory health insurance (“Government/compulsory”) as well as voluntary health insurance and private funds such as households’ out-of-pocket payments, NGOs and private corporations (“Voluntary”). This indicator is presented as a total and by type of financing (“Government/compulsory”, “Voluntary”, “Out-of-pocket”) and is measured as a share of GDP, as a share of total health spending and in USD per capita (using economy-wide PPPs).”
Source: OECD (2022), Health spending (indicator). doi: 10.1787/8643de7e-en (Accessed on 29 July 2022).
Current Health Expenditure Per Capita in US$ (2019): $921.6
Source: Global Health Observatory. Current health expenditure (CHE) per capita in US$. Geneva: World Health Organization. Last accessed July 26, 2022.
Current Health Expenditure As Percentage Of Gross Domestic Product (2019): 7.27%
Source: Global Health Observatory. Current health expenditure (CHE) as percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) (%). Geneva: World Health Organization. Last accessed July 26, 2022.
Out-Of-Pocket Expenditure As Percentage Of Current Health Expenditure (2019): 22.32%
Source: Global Health Observatory. Out-of-pocket expenditure as percentage of current health expenditure (CHE) (%). Geneva: World Health Organization. Last accessed July 26, 2022.
Out-Of-Pocket Expenditure Per Capita (USD) (2019): $205.7
Source: Global Health Observatory. Out-of-pocket expenditure (OOP) per capita in US$. Geneva: World Health Organization. Last accessed July 26, 2022.
Annual household out-of-pocket payment, current US$ per capita (2019): $206
Source: Global Health Expenditure Database. Health expenditure series. Geneva: World Health Organization. Last accessed July 21, 2022.
Out-of-Pocket Spending as Share of Final Household Consumption (%) (2019): 2.3%
Source: OECD (2021), Health at a Glance 2021: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/ae3016b9-en.
Domestic General Government Health Expenditure as Percentage of General Government Expenditure (%) (2019): 24.1%
Population with household expenditures on health greater than 10% of total household expenditure or income (2012-2020) (%): 7.4%
Population with household expenditures on health greater than 25% of total household expenditure or income (2012-2020) (%): 1.1%
Source: World health statistics 2022: monitoring health for the SDGs, sustainable development
goals. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
“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 sixteen other nations.
Page last updated Oct. 23, 2022 by Doug McVay, Editor.