Monday, September 14, 2009

Catastrophic expenditures

I wrote this in the NY Times blog 'Room for Debate' last Thursday responding to the President's speech. A few people have sent me requests for more information on 'my plan.' It is an idea, not a plan per se. I have managed to get estimates of the percentage of persons under age 65 who have more than $10,000 in health expenditures in a given year. This data is as follows:

Percent of people with health expenditures greater than $10,000/Year
0-19 2.2%
18-39 6.2%
40-49 8.7%
50-64 19.6%

The above numbers are very hard to come by....I spent most of Friday trying to find this and/or back of the envelope it. I found someone who has done it about as well as possible (and did so using multiple data sources/data sets). This has been adjusted to account for persons with 0 health expenditures in a give year, meaning such persons are included. The person who gave me this data did so on an 'off the record' basis so I am not able to identify them, but this is a reputable organization. Also, this is further evidence that if you could have one, and only one variable with which to risk adjust insurance premiums, you would pick age.


  1. Read this today in a blog I read; Sounds like some approval for your general idea:

  2. Good job. Thanks for sharing. Very good post.