Health Care Spending For Younger People Growing Faster

Armen Hareyan's picture

Health Care Spending


While the cost of health care in the U.S. for people age 65 andolder is more than three times that for younger people, health carecosts for seniors are growing at a slower rate than they are foryounger people, according to a CMS report published in Health Affairs, CongressDaily reports (CongressDaily, 11/6).

AmongU.S. seniors, growth in health care expenditures for people age 85 andolder experienced the sharpest decline compared with younger people,the AP/Houston Chroniclereports. Health spending for people age 85 and older dropped to 5.7times the cost of health care for the working-age population in 2004,down from 6.9 times the cost in 1987, the report said. Health carespending for people age 65 and older in 2004 was 3.3 times greater thanspending for working-age people, down from 3.5 times greater in 1987.CMS also reported that costs for nursing home care have been risingslowly. Overall health care expenses per person in 2004 were $5,276, upfrom $1,796 in 1987. According to the report, the rise in health carecosts for various age groups was as follows:

  • For people age 18 and younger, health care spending grew from $868 in 1987 to $2,650 in 2004;
  • For people ages 19 to 64, spending grew from $1,521 to $4,511; and
  • For the people age 65 and older, spending grew from $5,282 to $14,797.

Healthcare spending per individual overall in 2004 breaks down as follows bysource of payment: $802 out-of-pocket; $1,898 from private healthinsurance; $221 from other private sources such as workplace clinics;$1,032 from Medicare; $918 from Medicaid; and $405 from other publicsources such as state and local agencies. Spending for people age 65and older in 2004 breaks down as follows: $2,205 out-of-pocket; $2,351from private insurance; $331 from other private sources; $7,242 fromMedicare; $2,034 from Medicaid; and $633 from other public sources(Schmid, AP/Houston Chronicle, 11/6).

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Reprinted with permission can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, andsign up for email delivery at The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.