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Key Findings Details

The Level and Risk of Out-of-Pocket Health Care Spending
Michael Hurd and Susann Rohwedder
WP 2009-218

  • Health and Retirement Study data from 2004 and earlier overstates the average and the range in out-of-pocket spending on health care when compared to other studies.
  • Very large out-of-pocket spending occurs less often than what is reported in the HRS.
  • Much of the overestimation is due to how spending on prescription drugs is measured.
  • In 2006 the situation will be different due to Medicare Part D.