healthcare vs. health care

The words “health” and “care” are used so frequently together in the English language that they are becoming joined at the hip, but according to AP Style, they require separation surgery.

  • Health care as a noun: The national debate about health care has reached a fever pitch.
  • Health care as an adjective: Health care costs are rising at a rate that is unsustainable for most Americans.

The word “healthcare” is not yet considered standard, but it is being used more often as time progresses. Check with your own organization’s style guide to make sure you are using the correct form of the noun and the adjective. — Tip from Sarah Muench