The privately insured are assuming a greater share of the costs of their health care, yet little is known about changes in out-of-pocket spending at the state level. The central problem is that national surveys with the relevant data are not designed to generate state-level estimates. The study addresses this shortcoming by using a two-sample modeling approach to estimate state-level measures of out-of-pocket spending relative to income for privately insured adults and children. National data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Household Component and state representative data from the from the Current Population Survey are used. Variation in out-of-pocket spending over time and across states is shown, highlighting concern about the adequacy of coverage for 2.9% of privately insured children and 7.8% of privately insured adults. Out-of-pocket spending relative to income is an important indicator of access to care and should be monitored at the state level.
- Access to care
- Out-of-pocket spending