NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Samuel Marshall

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Working Papers

July 2010The Risk of Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenditure at End of Life
with Kathleen M. McGarry, Jonathan S. Skinner: w16170
There is conflicting evidence on the importance of out-of-pocket medical expenditures as a risk to financial security, particularly at older ages. We revisit this question, focusing on health care spending near the end of life using data from the Health and Retirement Study for the years 1998-2006. We address difficulties with missing values for various categories of expenditures, outliers, and variations across individuals in the length of the reporting period. Spending in the last year of life is estimated to be $11,618 on average, with the 90th percentile equal to $29,335, the 95th percentile $49,907, and the 99th equal to $94,310. These spending measures represent a substantial fraction of liquid wealth for decedents. Total out-of-pocket expenditures are strongly positively relat...

Published: The Risk of Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenditure at the End of Life, Samuel Marshall, Kathleen McGarry, Jonathan S. Skinner. in Explorations in the Economics of Aging, Wise. 2011

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