Report: Health Costs of Young Outpace Spending on Seniors
While the cost of health care in the U.S. for people age 65 and older is more than three times that for younger people, health care costs for seniors are growing at a slower rate than they are for younger people, according to a CMS report published in Health Affairs, CongressDaily reports (CongressDaily, 11/6).
Among U.S. seniors, growth in health care expenditures for people age 85 and older experienced the sharpest decline compared with younger people, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports. Health spending for people age 85 and older dropped to 5.7 times the cost of health care for the working-age population in 2004, down from 6.9 times the cost in 1987, the report said. Health care spending for people age 65 and older in 2004 was 3.3 times greater than spending for working-age people, down from 3.5 times greater in 1987. CMS also reported that costs for nursing home care have been rising slowly.
Overall health care expenses per person in 2004 were $5,276, up from $1,796 in 1987. According to the report, the rise in health care costs for various age groups was as follows:
- For people age 18 and younger, health care spending grew from $868 in 1987 to $2,650 in 2004;
- For people ages 19 to 64, spending grew from $1,521 to $4,511; and
- For the people age 65 and older, spending grew from $5,282 to $14,797.
The report is available online. This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.