Total family expenditures for health care, United States, 1980
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Total family expenditures for health care, United States, 1980

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    • Description:
      Information on total family expenditures for health care in 1980 is presented in this report. Total expenditures are the total amounts billed (either actual or imputed) to families whether these amounts are paid out-of-pocket by the family, paid by private health insurance or a public health care coverage program, or remain unpaid. The data discussed here were gathered in the national household sample of the National Medical Care Utilization and Expenditure Survey (NMCUES). In this sample, information was collected on health problems, health care received, expenditures for care, health insurance, and related topics throughout calendar year 1980 from approximately 6,800 families in the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States. The survey excluded all individuals who were in institutions or in the military. This report also entirely excludes families with military heads, even if they had some civilian members. For this report, a family was initially defined as (1) two or more persons living together who were related by either blood, marriage, adoption, or a formal foster care relationship or (2) a single person living outside such relationships. Because data on these families were collected across 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 expenditures for care are calculated in 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. This report deals with total expenditures for health care as reported by a sample of consumers of health care. These types of data are limited by the knowledge the respondent has as to the amount of the total bill. For various reasons, which are discussed in detail in the text, the respondent often doesn’t know the amount of the total bill. Therefore, the statistics in this report should be regarded as having more limitations than the statistics in two previous family reports: "Family Use of Health Care: United States, 1980" (Dicker and Sun-shine, 1987) and "Family Out-of-Pocket Expenditures for Health Care: United States, 1980" (Sunshine and Dicker, 1987).
    • Content Notes:
      By Jonathan H. Sunshine and Marvin Dicker.

      Bibliography: p. 30-31.

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