Does Widowhood Explain Gender Differences in Out-of-Pocket Medical Spending Among the Elderly?
AbstractDespite the presence of Medicare, out-of-pocket medical spending is a large expenditure risk facing the elderly. While women live longer than men, elderly women incur higher out-of-pocket medical spending than men at each age. In this paper, we examine whether differences in marital status and living arrangements can explain this difference. We find that out-of-pocket medical spending is approximately 29 percent higher when an individual becomes widowed, a large portion of which is spending on nursing homes. Our results suggest a substantial role of living arrangements in out-of-pocket medical spending; however, our estimates combined with differences in rates of widowhood across gender suggest that marital status can explain only one third of the gender difference in total out-of-pocket medical spending, leaving a large portion unexplained. On the other hand, gender differences in widowhood more than explain the observed gender difference in out-of-pocket spending on nursing homes.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17440.
Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Note: AG HC PE
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- Goda, Gopi Shah & Shoven, John B. & Slavov, Sita Nataraj, 2013. "Does widowhood explain gender differences in out-of-pocket medical spending among the elderly?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 647-658.
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2011-10-01 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2011-10-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2011-10-01 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-HEA-2011-10-01 (Health Economics)
- NEP-HME-2011-10-01 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-IAS-2011-10-01 (Insurance Economics)
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