The Financial Burden of Medical Spending Among the Non-Elderly, 2010

A man reviews a pile of unpaid bills.

A report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as part of its Affordable Care Act (ACA) Implementation - Monitoring and Tracking Series, estimates the financial burden of out-of-pocket medical spending among adults in 2010. The report finds that those who are low-income; those with non-group insurance coverage; the unhealthy; and those with small-group employer-sponsored insurance have an elevated risk of facing high burden levels.

Key Findings

  • Twenty-one percent of non-elderly adults reside in families with medical spending levels that exceed 10 percent of gross income.

  • Nearly 14 percent of the non-elderly sampled face burden levels greater than 15 percent, and roughly 10 percent face levels greater than 20 percent.

  • Individuals covered by non-group policies are much more likely to face high burden levels—generally a result of higher premium spending than those with group insurance.

This report is one in a series of briefs examining coverage trends among different groups targeted by ACA coverage expansions.