Family out-of-pocket expenditures for health care, United States, 1980
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Family out-of-pocket expenditures for health care, United States, 1980

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    Information on out-of-pocket health care expenditures for families in 1980 is presented in this report. The data discussed here were gathered through the national household sample of the National Medical Care Utilization and Expenditure Survey (NMCUES). Information for the year 1980 was collected on health problems, health care received, expenditures for care, health insurance, and related topics from approximately 6,800 families in the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population. All individuals who are in institutions or in the military are excluded from this analysis as are all families with military heads of family, even if they have civilian members. For this report, a family was initially defined as: two or more persons living together who were related either by blood, marriage, adoption, or a formal foster care relationship; or as a single person living outside such relationships. Because these data were collected throughout an entire year, the important concept of "longitudinal family" was developed. This concept was necessary to deal with the fact that the composition of a family could change over time, and that families could come into existence and go out of existence over time. As the data are based on this dynamic concept of families, all measures of health care expenditures are calculated in terms of annual rates. Family data are important for understanding the health care system because decisions to seek and use health care are usually family decisions, health care is usually paid for out of family resources, and family distributions for health-related variables differ from the distributions found for individuals. Contract no. 282-84-2108, prepared for National Center for Health Statistics. Bibliography: p. 28-29.
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