Thursday, February 28, 2019

You Don't Want to Belong To This 1%

The average American incurred $5,006 in medical expenses in 2016, according to the federal government's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. But an unlucky few spent much more than average. Just 5 percent of the population accounted for half of all medical spending in 2016. Here is the average health care spending incurred per person in 2016 at selected percentiles of spending...

Average spending per person by percentile of health care spending, 2016
Top 1 percent of spending: $110,003
Top 5 percent of spending: $50,077
Top 10 percent of spending: $33,053
Top 50 percent of spending: $9,735
Bottom 50 percent of spending: $276

Not surprisingly, people aged 65 or older were the largest share (43 percent) of those in the top 1 percent of medical spending, and 45-to-64-year-olds accounted for another 34 percent.

Medicare was a big source of payment for those in the top 1 percent, covering 36 percent of their health care costs. Private insurance paid another 37 percent of their costs. The top 1 percent paid 5.5 percent of its health care bills out-of-pocket.

Source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Concentration of Health Expenditures and Selected Characteristics of High Spenders, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2016

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