Family Health Care Costs
The United States spends over $3 trillion on health care each year. Families bear the burden of these high costs, not only through insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, but also through taxes to support health care.
According to National Health Expenditures Accounts and the Current Population Survey, in 2018, American households paid on average 18.5% of their income toward health care costs. But the costs and benefits were not spread evenly, with households in the lowest income quintile bearing a disproportionate burden relative to their income. The lowest income quintile spends 44% of income towards health care, while those in the highest income quintile spend only 17%.
Between 2015 and 2018, the percent of income paid towards health care fluctuated between 18.5 and 18.8% of income. A change in income paid toward health care would represent not only a change in the cost of care, but also a change in the burden that this cost imposes on households.
Per capita family health care costs as percent of family income
FAMILY HEALTH CARE COSTS AS PERCENT OF FAMILY INCOME, BY INSURANCE TYPE IN 2018
FAMILY HEALTH CARE COSTS AS PERCENT OF FAMILY INCOME, BY HOUSEHOLD INCOME QUINTILE, IN 2018
FAMILY HEALTH CARE COSTS AS PERCENT OF FAMILY INCOME, BY AGE IN 2018
Preventable Hospitalization Rates
Having routine access to high-quality care throughout one’s life is key to good health and can also reduce the occurrence of preventable hospitalizations. People who have chronic or acute illness can be managed and treated by their primary care provider in a way that promotes health and reduces costs.
An analysis of Health Care Cost and Utilization Project data indicated that in 2017, there were 1,324 preventable hospitalizations per 100,000 people, up from 1,276 per 100,000 people in 2016. A decrease in the number of preventable hospitalizations would indicate that more people are managing their health better, which includes primary care to avoid the need for higher-cost treatment.
SOURCE: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, 2017
POTENTIALLY PREVENTABLE HOSPITALIZATIONS BY CONDITION PER 100,000 ADULTS
End-of-Life Care Expenditures
This measure monitors the medical choices made by and for people in their last year of life—with an eye toward time spent in clinical settings versus at home. End-of-life care expenditures also reflect costs associated with the burden of chronic disease, as well as the higher costs associated with acute care facilities.
According to Medicare beneficiaries’ data, in 2017, the average total health expenditures in their last year of life was $66,176. This mumber has gone up on average by approximatley $3,000 since 2013. A decrease in spending would suggest that more people are choosing community- or household-based services, such as hospice or home care.
SOURCE: Medicare Master Beneficiary Summary File (MBSF), 2017
AVERAGE TOTAL HEALTH EXPENDITURES IN LAST YEAR OF LIFE AMONG MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES
Average Total Health Expenditures in last year of life among Medicare Beneficiaries, by setting in 2017
AVERAGE TOTAL HEALTH EXPENDITURES IN LAST YEAR OF LIFE AMONG MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES, BY RACE/ETHNICITY in 2017
AVERAGE TOTAL HEALTH EXPENDITURES IN LAST YEAR OF LIFE AMONG MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES, BY STATE in 2017