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How Affordability of Health Care Varies by Income among People with Employer Coverage

This analysis for the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker uses information from the Current Population Survey to look at the average amounts and the shares of family income people in working families with employer-based coverage pay out-of-pocket toward their premiums and direct payments for medical care. It finds that lower income families spend a greater share of their income on health costs than those with higher incomes, and that health status of family members is associated with higher out-of-pocket expenses. 

Urban and Rural Differences in Coronavirus Pandemic Preparedness

The coronavirus outbreak has hit densely populated urban areas of the United States first and hardest. Some health systems have experienced surges of patients, raising concerns that there are not enough hospital beds, staffing, and equipment. The novel coronavirus was slower to spread to rural areas in the U.S., but…

Assessing the Performance of the U.S. Health System

Health spending growth has consistently outpaced U.S. economic growth and is higher than medical spending in other wealthy countries. Despite spending more, the United States doesn’t have better health outcome in terms of life expectancy, mortality rates and other measures. This brief provides an overview of trends in health costs and the performance of the U.S. health system, including comparisons to countries from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The brief charts growth in the nation’s per capita health spending along with the recent slowdown, touching on the roles of expanded Medicaid eligibility, increases in Medicare beneficiaries and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, it discusses the health system’s effectiveness and capacity to provide services, including the accessibility and affordability of care.