High out-of-pocket health care spending by the elderly.

TitleHigh out-of-pocket health care spending by the elderly.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsGoldman, DP, Zissimopoulos, JM
JournalHealth Aff (Millwood)
Date Published2003 May-Jun
ISSN Number0278-2715
KeywordsAged, Drug Costs, Drug Prescriptions, Financing, Personal, Health Care Surveys, Health Expenditures, Health Maintenance Organizations, Health Services for the Aged, Humans, Insurance, Health, Medicare, Poverty, United States

We use data from the Health and Retirement Study to examine the elderly's out-of-pocket health care spending. We find that Medicare HMOs, employer supplements, and Medicaid effectively insulate against the risk of high expenditures. At the ninetieth percentile, Medicare beneficiaries with employer supplements or enrolled in Medicare HMOs spend 1,600 dollars less out of pocket than beneficiaries with traditional Medicare spend. For the poor elderly, Medicaid offers similar protection. Among the near-poor elderly, there is little employer coverage, so Medicare HMOs provide most of the protection against financial risk. There is evidence that Medicare HMO benefits have eroded since 1998, raising the question of whether the near-poor have lost financial protection since then.

User Guide Notes


Endnote Keywords

Health Expenditures/Medicaid/Medicare

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalHealth Aff (Millwood)
Citation Key6860
PubMed ID12757285
Grant List2P01AG08291-09 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States