Health Shocks, Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses and Consumer Debt Among Middle-Aged and Older Americans

TitleHealth Shocks, Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses and Consumer Debt Among Middle-Aged and Older Americans
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsKim, H, Yoon, W, Zurlo, KA
JournalThe Journal of Consumer Affairs
Volume46
Issue3
KeywordsConsumption and Savings, Demographics, Healthcare, Net Worth and Assets
Abstract

We examine two important issues related to health and financial burden in middle-aged and older Americans: (1) whether or not new health events affect a consumer's unsecured debt, and (2) to what extent the associated out-of-pocket medical expenses (OOP) contribute to unsecured debt. We use six biennial waves (1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008) from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). We estimated fixed effects models and conducted mediation analyses. We find that new health events affect the accumulation of unsecured debt. Our estimates suggest that new health events increase unsecured debt by 6.3 ( 230) to 9.3 ( 339); approximately 20 of the increase in unsecured consumer debt comes from OOP when experiencing new health events. New severe health events increase debt for the 50-64 age group, but do not increase it for the 65 group. PUBLICATION ABSTRACT

Notes

ProQuest document ID 1076371419

Endnote Keywords

Health care expenditures/Consumer credit/Middle age/Older people/Personal finance/Investment analysis and personal finance/Experiment/theoretical treatment/Out of pocket costs

Endnote ID

69682

Citation Key7765