Seniors spend four times as much on health care

Sunday, December 12, 2004

December 13, 2004

BALTIMORE - Elderly Americans over age 65 spent four times as much on health care as younger Americans, according to a study released Dec. 2 by the Health Care Financing Review, a journal published by CMS.
In 1999, seniors spent $387 billion, or $11,089 per person, on healthcare. People under 65 spent $2,793 per year on average.
The study, “Age Estimates in the National health Accounts,” details trends in healthcare spending by children (0 to 18), working age adults (19 to 64) and the elderly (age 65 ad over). To read the full report, see
While seniors represented 13% of the population, they spent 36% of the healthcare dollars. Medicare financed 46% of healthcare spending for seniors in 1999; Medicaid accounted for 15%.
Out-of-pocket expenditures accounted for 16% of senior’s spending in 1999, down from 22% in 1987.
From 1987 to 1999, healthcare spending increased 7.6% per year on average, with slowed spending rates after passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.