AHRQ Stats: Health Care Usage
In 2011, 1 percent of the U.S. population accounted for nearly 22 percent of total health care spending. Nearly one in five of those individuals remained in the top 1 percent of health care spenders in 2012. This statistical brief presents data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), including data on children ages 0-17.
STATISTICAL BRIEF #449:
|Steven B. Cohen, PhD|
- In 2011, 1 percent of the population accounted for 21.5 percent of total health care expenditures and 19.6 percent of the population in the top 1 percent retained this ranking in 2012. The bottom half of the expenditure distribution accounted for 2.8 percent of spending in 2011; about three out of four individuals in the bottom 50 percent retained this ranking in 2012.
- Those who were in the top decile of spenders in both 2011 and 2012 differed by age, race/ethnicity, sex, health status, and insurance coverage (for those under 65) from those who were in the lower half in both years.
- Those in the bottom half of health care spenders were more likely to report excellent health status, while those in the top decile of spenders were more likely to be in fair or poor health relative to the overall population.
- While 14.8 percent of persons under age 65 were uninsured for all of 2012, the full year uninsured comprised 23.9 percent of those in the bottom half of spenders for both 2011 and 2012. Only 2.7 percent of those under age 65 who remained in the top decile of spenders in both years were uninsured for all of 2012.
- Relative to the overall population, those who remained in the top decile of spenders were more likely to be in fair or poor health, elderly, female, non-Hispanic whites and those with public-only coverage. Those who remained in the bottom half of spenders were more likely to be in excellent health, children and young adults, men, Hispanics, and the uninsured.
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