Table 125Expenses for health care and prescribed medicine, by selected population characteristics: United States, selected years 1987–2003
[Data are based on household interviews of a sample of the noninstitutionalized population and a sample of medical providers]
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Total expenses 1
Population in millions 2 Percent of persons with expense Mean annual expense per person with expense 3
Characteristic 1997 2000 2003 1987 1997 2000 2003 1987 1997 2000 2003
All ages271.3278.4290.684.584.183.585.6$2,530$2,779$2,885$3,601
Under 65 years:
  Under 6 years23.824.123.188.988.086.791.31,6739841,2011,337
  6–17 years48.148.449.980.281.780.084.11,1031,1041,1941,239
  18–44 years108.9109.0111.181.578.377.779.01,7311,9102,0362,598
  45–64 years56.362.169.887.089.288.589.63,3533,6983,8064,750
Hispanic origin and race4
 Hispanic or Latino29.432.038.571.069.569.070.41,5711,7541,5481,931
 Not Hispanic or Latino:
  Black or African American31.332.,3831,6902,4142,698
Insurance status5
 Any private insurance174.0181.6180.186.586.585.988.91,8892,1472,1652,917
 Public insurance only29.829.738.982.483.383.685.53,1682,5613,4503,258
 Uninsured all year33.332.334.861.861.157.357.41,2311,2591,6031,492
65 years and over34.234.836.793.795.295.596.36,2496,8186,5618,209
Hispanic origin and race4
 Hispanic or Latino1.,9517,1345,8886,964
 Not Hispanic or Latino:
  Black or African American2.,5326,7156,3108,874
Insurance status6
 Medicare only8.812.010.985.992.194.894.54,9226,2815,6337,535
 Medicare and private insurance21.719.220.695.497.096.097.96,1826,6496,7278,344
 Medicare and other public coverage3.23.24.694.493.296.396.59,6029,6099,0029,466
Prescribed medicine expenses
Percent of persons with expense Mean annual out-of-pocket expense per person with out-of-pocket expense 3,7
Characteristic 1987 1997 2000 2003 1987 1997 2000 2003
All ages57.362.162.364.4$149$232$293$427
Under 65 years:
  Under 6 years61.861.356.957.939404069
  6–17 years44.348.246.251.0736275121
  18–44 years51.355.956.056.586140161248
  45–64 years65.371.873.374.5209305401544
Hispanic origin and race4
 Hispanic or Latino41.647.745.045.779109156218
 Not Hispanic or Latino:
  Black or African American44.150.047.654.197132175318
Insurance status5
 Any private insurance56.561.661.664.4113156183283
 Public insurance only56.562.062.463.676162305385
 Uninsured all year35.140.237.636.7121236353428
65 years and over81.686.088.391.0343554666955
Hispanic origin and race4
 Hispanic or Latino74.787.583.984.1453452561832
 Not Hispanic or Latino:
  Black or African American79.585.385.386.8269460568803
Insurance status6
 Medicare only70.682.187.789.03796407951,253
 Medicare and private insurance83.488.189.092.7356562615871
 Medicare and other public coverage88.285.088.592.1130310527670

* Estimates are considered unreliable. Data not shown are based on fewer than 100 sample cases. Data preceded by an asterisk have a relative standard error equal to or greater than 30%.


Includes expenses for inpatient hospital and physician services, ambulatory physician and nonphysician services, prescribed medicines, home health services, dental services, and other medical equipment, supplies, and services that were purchased or rented during the year. Excludes expenses for over-the-counter medications, alternative care services, phone contacts with health providers, and premiums for health insurance.


Includes persons in the civilian noninstitutionalized population for all or part of the year. Expenditures for persons only in this population for part of the year are restricted to those incurred during periods of eligibility (e.g., expenses incurred during periods of institutionalization and military service are not included in estimates).


Estimates of expenses have been updated to 2003 dollars using the Consumer Price Index (all items) and differ from the previous edition of Health, United States. See Appendix II, Consumer Price Index (CPI).


Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Starting with 2002 data, MEPS respondents were allowed to report multiple races and these persons are included in the Other category. As a result, there is a slight increase in percentage of persons classified in the Other category in 2002 compared with prior years.


Any private insurance includes individuals with insurance that provided coverage for hospital and physician care at any time during the year, other than Medicare, Medicaid, or other public coverage for hospital or physician services. Public insurance only includes individuals who were not covered by private insurance at any time during the year but were covered by Medicare, Medicaid, other public coverage for hospital or physician services, and/or CHAMPUS/CHAMPVA (TRICARE) at any point during the year. Uninsured includes persons not covered by either private or public insurance throughout the entire year or period of eligibility for the survey.


Populations do not add to total because uninsured persons and persons with unknown insurance status were excluded.


Includes expenses for all prescribed medications that were purchased or refilled during the survey year.

NOTES: 1987 estimates are based on National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES) while estimates for other years are based on Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Because expenditures in NMES were based primarily on charges while those for MEPS were based on payments, NMES data were adjusted to be more comparable to MEPS using estimated charge to payment ratios for 1987. Overall, this resulted in about an 11% reduction from the unadjusted 1987 NMES expenditure estimates. See Zuvekas S, Cohen S. A guide to comparing health care expenditures in the 1996 MEPS to the 1987 NMES. Inquiry 2002;39(1):76–86. Data for additional years are available. See Appendix III.

SOURCE: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Center for Cost and Financing Studies. 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey and 1996–2003 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys.

From: Trend Tables

Cover of Health, United States, 2006
Health, United States, 2006: With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans.
National Center for Health Statistics (US) .
Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2006 Nov.

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