U.S.: Share of Residents with High Out-of-Pocket Medical Costs, by year
Year bracketShare of residents,
in %
  • Region: United States
  • Time period: 2016 to 2021
  • Published: Jun 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 28, 2024 | Published by: Statistico | About Us | Data sources

Peak in high out-of-pocket medical costs during 2018-19

The share of U.S. residents facing high out-of-pocket medical costs reached its peak in the years 2018-19, with 10.2% of the population affected. This figure represents the highest percentage observed in the provided data range, highlighting a significant burden on individuals during this period.

Consistency in recent years

In more recent years, specifically 2019-20 and 2020-21, the share of U.S. residents with high out-of-pocket medical costs stabilized at 7.3%. This consistency indicates a halt in the fluctuation of financial burdens due to medical expenses on the population.

Slight decline observed in 2017-18

A slight decline in the share of U.S. residents with high out-of-pocket medical costs was observed between 2016-17 and 2017-18, with figures moving from 8.7% to 8.3%. This reduction, although minimal, suggests a temporary improvement in the affordability or coverage of healthcare costs.

Overall trend of fluctuations

Over the years 2016-17 to 2020-21, the share of U.S. residents with high out-of-pocket medical costs has shown fluctuations, with percentages ranging from 7.3% to 10.2%. These variations indicate the dynamic nature of healthcare affordability and the financial impact on residents over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the peak of high out-of-pocket medical costs for U.S. residents?

The peak was in the years 2018-19 with 10.2% of the population affected.

How did the high out-of-pocket medical costs trend change in recent years?

The percentage has stabilized at 7.3% during 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Terms and Definitions

High Out-of-Pocket Medical Costs refer to the direct costs that an individual has to pay for their healthcare services which are not covered by insurance. This can include co-pays, deductibles, or any medical care that isn’t covered by a person's health insurance plan.

Healthcare services consist of actions or interventions aimed at improving, maintaining, or addressing health status or conditions. They can range from preventive and curative treatments to rehabilitative and palliative care.

Health Insurance is a type of coverage that pays for medical, surgical, and sometimes, prescription drug expenses incurred by the insured. Health insurance can reimburse the insured for expenses incurred from illness or injury or pay the care provider directly.

A deductible is a specific amount of money that the insured must pay out-of-pocket before the insurer pays a claim. In the context of health insurance, it's the amount you pay for your healthcare services before your health insurance begins to cover the costs.

A co-pay, short for copayment, is a fixed amount a healthcare beneficiary is expected to pay at the time of each medical service. The remaining balance is covered by the person's insurance company.
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