The Risk and Duration of Catastrophic Health Care Expenditures
AbstractCatastrophic medical expenses are an important economic risk facing the elderly. Little is known about the persistence of such out-of-pocket medical costs. We measure the time-series property of medical costs using information on medical deductions from a panel of tax returns. During the period of analysis, 1968-73, taxpayers could deduct medical expenses above 3 percent of income. We correct for the resulting censoring bias using multivariate Tobit estimated with a variant of the smoothed simulated maximum likelihood (SSML) method. The data suggest that the burden of out-of-pocket medical expenses is substantially larger for lower income families. Furthermore, the estimated coefficients suggest substantial time-persistence in out-of-pocket medical care costs; a $1 increase in out-of-pocket medical spending is predicted to increase future spending by an additional $2.80. These results may shed light both on the social value of catastrophic health insurance as well on aggregate saving behavior.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4147.
Date of creation: Aug 1992
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Note: AG HE PE
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Other versions of this item:
- Feenberg, Daniel & Skinner, Jonathan, 1994. "The Risk and Duration of Catastrophic Health Care Expenditures," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 633-47, November.
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- Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1990.
"Aging and the Income Value of Housing Wealth,"
NBER Working Papers
3547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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