Median Medical Out-of-Pocket Spending

Measure Overview

While health insurance can help protected individuals from unexpected health care costs, enrollees are typically required to pay for some share of costs on their own (i.e., “out-of-pocket”). Out-of-pocket (OOP) spending can include the costs of premiums, co-pays, diagnostic tests, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, contact lenses, and medical supplies. High medical out-of-pocket spending poses an issue for insured individuals who seek care but still struggle to afford the share of costs not covered by insurance and for uninsured individuals who may bear the full cost of services.

State Health Compare provides annual, state-level estimates of median OOP spending by population (either individuals with employer-sponsored coverage or individuals in the total U.S. population). These estimates reflect data collected in the Current Population Survey.

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