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Health Care on a Budget: An Analysis of Spending by Medicare Households

This report by Kaiser Family Foundation researchers shows that Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket health care costs comprise a significant share of their household expenses.

In 2006, out-of-pocket health care spending accounted for 14.1 percent of all expenditures for Medicare households — less than housing but about the same as transportation and food. And, one in four Medicare households devotes more than one quarter of total household expenditures to health care. This group includes a disproportionate share of Medicare households that are low- and middle-income, have older members and are living in rural areas.

The report is based on analysis of data from the 2006 Consumer Expenditure Survey. An updated analysis can be found here.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.