IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Out-of-pocket health expenditures in Australia: A semi-parametric analysis, CHERE Working Paper 2006/15

  • Glenn Jones

    (Macquarie University)

  • Elizabeth Savage


    (CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney)

  • Kees van Gool


    (CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney)

Out-of-pocket health expenditures in Australia are high in international comparisons and have been growing at a faster rate than most other health costs in recent years. This raises concerns about the extent to which out-of-pocket costs have constrained access to health services for low income households. Using data from the ABS Household Expenditure Survey 2003-04, we model the relationships between health expenditure shares and equivalised total expenditure for categories of out-of-pocket health expenditures and analyse the extent of protection given by concession cards. To allow for flexibility in the relationship we adopt a semi-parametric estimation technique following Yatchew (1997). We find mixed evidence for the protection health concession cards give against high out-of-pocket health expenditures. Despite higher levels of subsidy, households with concession cards have higher total health expenditure shares than other households. Surprisingly, the major drivers of the difference are not categories of expenditure where cards offer little or no protection, such as dental services and non-prescription medicines, but prescriptions costs, where concession cards guarantee a subsidy, and specialist consultations, where bulk billing rates would be expected to be higher for cardholders. This is the first detailed distributional analysis of household health expenditures in Australia.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, September 2006, current version May, 2007
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney in its series Working Papers with number 2006/15.

in new window

Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:her:chewps:2006/15
Contact details of provider: Postal: Level 4, 645 Harris Street, Ultimo, NSW 2007
Phone: +61 2 9514 9799
Fax: 61 2 9514 4730
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:her:chewps:2006/15. 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: (Liz Chinchen)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.