The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) of 2012 Data
In 2012, health care expenses among the U.S. population totaled $1.35 trillion. Medical care expenses, however, are highly concentrated among a relatively small proportion of individuals. Read more about the key findings from the latest public data to understand the key factors that will shape future healthcare.
Recently there has been some improvement in the chronic cases as a percentage of total health care expenditures. Using information from the Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS-HC) for 2012, the MEPS Study provides detailed estimates of the concentration in the level of health care expenditures. This study is essential reading to understand the factors most likely to drive future health care spending and the characteristics of the individuals who incur them. The Study highlights include:
- In 2012, the top 1 percent ranked by their health care expenses accounted for 22.7 percent of total health care expenditures with an annual mean expenditure of $97,956. Overall, the top 50 percent of the population ranked by their expenditures accounted for 97.3 percent of overall health care expenditures, while the lower 50 percent accounted for only 2.7 percent of the total.
- Individuals age 65 and older were characterized by substantially less concentrated levels of health care spending relative to their younger counterparts. Alternatively, the elderly had the highest mean levels of health care expenditures relative to younger population subgroups at the top quantiles of the expenditure distribution.
- The top 5 percent of the uninsured population under age 65 ranked by their health care expenses accounted for 58.9 percent of the health care expenditures incurred by this subpopulation with an annual mean of $14,565. Conditioned on insurance coverage status, the uninsured had the lowest annual mean expenses.
- The top 5 percent of individuals with four or more chronic conditions accounted for 29.7 percent of health care expenditures for this subpopulation with an annual mean of $78,198. Based on chronic condition status, persons with four or more chronic conditions had the lowest concentrated levels of health care expenditures and higher annual mean expenses at the top quantiles of the expenditure distribution.