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FAQs About Benefits—Health Spending and Insurance Issues
Are these averages indicative of what a typical family pays for medical care?
No, because they aggregate the small number of families who have very large health care expenditures with a much larger group that has very modest expenses. Health economists often invoke the so-called 80-20 rule, which suggests that 20 percent of those using the system run up 80 percent of the expenses. Because an individual often cannot predict which group he or she will fall into, health insurance is a useful mechanism for spreading the risk.
This chart shows that the 1 percent of the population with the biggest medical bills paid, on average, $71,888 and their spending was equal to 19 percent of all health spending in 2008.
General Overview of Benefits
- Where do people get income to finance their retirement?
- Do retirees think their income is adequate?
- What are the basic types of retirement plans?
- How much money is in retirement accounts, and how is it held?
- How many retirees receive work-related pensions?
- Who is most likely to be receiving a pension?
- What's the current trend on pension payments?
- What portion of workers are accruing benefits in an employment-based retirement plan?
- What do retirement plans cost employers?
- What are the trends in retirement plan coverage in the United States?
- What about personal saving for retirement?
- Are the types of retirement plans changing?
- What are the trends in defined benefit pension plans?
Health Spending and Insurance Issues
- What has America spent on health care in recent years?
- Is the average American spending a growing amount on health?
- Are these averages indicative of what a typical family pays for medical care?
- Has the amount Americans spend directly on health been growing?
- Has responsibility for paying medical bills shifted over time?
- What do workers and employers pay for employment-based coverage?
- What do employers pay for health benefits as a percent of compensation?
- How does this pattern compare with what's found in other nations?
- Has the way health dollars are spent changed?
- How many Americans have health insurance?
- Where do Americans get their health insurance?
- Which workers are most likely to have employment-based coverage?
Other Benefit Issues