2007 November 01 Thursday
Rising Percentage Of Elderly Income Goes To Medical Costs

Out-of-pocket spending is a rising portion of total income of the elderly in the United States.

This study evaluated the changes in Medicare beneficiaries' health care spending between 1997 and 2003, and found beneficiaries spent a growing share of their income on health care.

The results showed that median out-of-pocket health spending increased from 11.9% of income in 1997 to 15.5% in 2003, and about four in 10 beneficiaries spent at least one-fifth of their income on health care in 2003. Researchers using data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey found that growth in out-of-pocket health spending outpaced growth in income over time.

Old folks are experiencing a higher rate of inflation than the public as a whole. Old folks are a rising percentage of the total population. So the aging of the population increases inflationary pressures on the economy.

A rise in retirement ages would cause many aging people to pay taxes for longer, thereby easing the financial crunch on taxpayers to support old folks. Also, the longer people are employed the more of their medical costs will get paid by employer health benefits.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 November 01 10:20 PM  Economics Aging


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