Health Care Spending by Medicare Households: Part D Prescription Drug Coverage and Beyond
Ann C. Foster, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Craig J. Kreisler, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data from 2005 to 2009 were used to examine out-of-pocket health care spending changes among Medicare households after implementation of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program in 2006. Findings indicate that the proportion of total annual expenditures represented by health care was higher in 2009 than in 2005. Health care expenditures, as a share of total annual expenditures and in absolute dollar amounts, was lowest for households with a reference person under 65 and highest for households with a reference person 75 and older. For all groups, the proportion of health care spending represented by prescription drugs decreased, while the proportion represented by health insurance premiums increased over the period. Implementation of Medicare Part D appears to have had little impact on the financial security of the Medicare households examined.