IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Healthcare Expenditures of Living with a Disability: Total Expenditures, Out of Pocket Expenses and Burden, 1996-2004


  • Sophie Mitra

    (Fordham University, Department of Economics)

  • Patricia A. Findley

    (Rutgers University, School of Social Work)

  • Usha Sambamoorthi

    (UMASS Medical School, Worcester, Department of Psychiatry, and Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine)


Objective--This paper estimates the healthcare expenditures associated with a disability at the individual level and their recent trends. Design--Retrospective analysis of survey data. Participants--Data from multiple years (1996 through 2004) of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) for a nationally representative sample of civilian, non-institutionalized US population. Interventions--Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures--Healthcare expenditures consisted of: total healthcare expenditures, total out-of-pocket spending (OOP), and burden (the ratio of OOP to individual income). All the analyses accounted for the complex survey design of the MEPS. Results--Between 1996 and 2004, 6% to 9% of individuals in the working age group (21-61 years) were identified as having a disability. Persons with disabilities consistently had higher total health expenditures, OOP and burden compared to their counterparts without disabilities. In 2004, the average total expenditures were estimated at $10,508 for persons with disabilities and at $2,256 for those without disabilities. In a multiple regression framework, persons with disabilities were consistently found to have higher expenditures and OOP between 1996 and 2004. Although expenditures, OOP and burden increased over time, after controlling for demographic, socio-economic, and health status, these three healthcare costs were not found to increase disproportionately for individuals with disability. Conclusions--Over the 1996-2004 period, persons with disabilities are consistently found to have significantly higher health expenditures and OOP compared to their counterparts without disabilities, which may adversely affect their health and standard of living.

Suggested Citation

  • Sophie Mitra & Patricia A. Findley & Usha Sambamoorthi, 2008. "Healthcare Expenditures of Living with a Disability: Total Expenditures, Out of Pocket Expenses and Burden, 1996-2004," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2008-18, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2008-18

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Manning, Willard G., 1998. "The logged dependent variable, heteroscedasticity, and the retransformation problem," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 283-295, June.
    2. Steinmann Lukas & Telser Harry & Zweifel Peter S., 2007. "Aging and Future Healthcare Expenditure: A Consistent Approach," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-28, March.
    3. Jones, Andrew & O'Donnell, Owen, 1995. "Equivalence scales and the costs of disability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 273-289, February.
    4. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
    5. Asghar Zaidi & Tania Burchardt, 2005. "Comparing Incomes When Needs Differ: Equivalization For The Extra Costs Of Disability In The U.K," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(1), pages 89-114, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. José-Ignacio Antón & Francisco-Javier Braña & Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo, 2016. "An analysis of the cost of disability across Europe using the standard of living approach," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 281-306, August.
    2. Michael Palmer, 2013. "Social Protection and Disability: A Call for Action," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 139-154, June.
    3. Coleman-Jensen, Alisha & Nord, Mark, 2013. "Food Insecurity Among Households With Working-Age Adults With Disabilities," Economic Research Report 142955, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

    More about this item


    Disability; Health Expenditures; Out of Pocket Expenditures; Burden;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2008-18. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fordham Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.