“Burden of Health Care Payments Is Greatest Among Americans with the Lowest Incomes
Higher-income American households pay the most to finance the nation’s health care system, but the burden of payments as a share of income is greatest among households with the lowest incomes, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
Households in the bottom fifth of income groups pay an average of 33.9% of their income toward health care, while families in the highest-income group pay 16% of their income toward health care.
The analysis finds that households in the middle three income tiers pay between 19.8% and 23.2% of their income toward health care. The analysis considered all payments made by households to support health care, including taxes and employer contributions.
The study is published online by the journal Health Services Research.
“Our findings suggest that health care payments in the United States are even more regressive than suggested by earlier research,” said Katherine G. Carman, lead author of the study and a senior economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “As national discussions continue about health reform and health equity, it’s important to understand how the current health care system distributes costs and payments.”…”
Burden of Health Care Payments Is Greatest Among Americans with the Lowest Incomes, Katherine Grace Carman, Rand Corporation, January 27, 2020