Out-of-Pocket Health Care Spending at Older Ages: Do Caregiving Arrangements Matter?

TitleOut-of-Pocket Health Care Spending at Older Ages: Do Caregiving Arrangements Matter?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsFriedman, EM, Beach, SR, Schulz, R
JournalJ Appl Gerontol
ISSN Number1552-4523
KeywordsAged, Delivery of Health Care, Health Expenditures, Humans, Medicare, Middle Aged, United States

Identifying the correlates of out-of-pocket (OOP) health care spending is an important step for ensuring the financial security of older adults. Whether or not someone has a family member providing assistance is one such factor that could be associated with OOP spending. If family caregivers facilitate better health, health care spending could be reduced. On the other hand, costs would be higher if family members facilitate more (or more costly) care for loved ones. This paper explores the relationship between caregiving arrangements and OOP spending using data from 5045 individuals in the 2000-2016 Health and Retirement Study with Medicare coverage and caregiving needs. We do not find a relationship between family caregiving and OOP health care costs, overall. However, among those with Medicare HMO insurance, having a family caregiver is associated with more spending than having no helper. This is mainly due to differences in spending on prescription medications.

Citation Key13101
PubMed ID36650722