About Two in Three Publicly Insured Adults Under Age 65 Have One or More Chronic Conditions
AHRQ News and Numbers, May 21, 2009
Nearly two of every three adult Americans under age 65 who were covered by public insurance from 2005 to 2006 had at least one chronic illness, such as diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
- About 57 percent of people with private insurance and 36 percent of the uninsured had one or more chronic ailments, such as diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease.
- People who had two or more chronic illnesses accounted for 45 percent of the publicly insured, 32 percent of the privately insured, and 17 percent of the uninsured.
- Health expenditures for treatment of chronic conditions for adults with two or more such conditions averaged $6,455 for people who only had public insurance compared with $1,987 for the uninsured and $3,598 for people with private insurance.
- However, a publicly insured person with two or more chronic illnesses had lower average annual out-of-pocket expenses than a similar uninsured person ($708 vs. $1,040).
- Chronic diseases accounted for 57 percent of medical care spending for adults who only had public insurance, 46 percent for the privately insured, and 47 percent for the uninsured.
AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, improves the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid. For more information, go to Healthcare Expenses for Chronic Conditions among non-Elderly Adults: Variations by Insurance Coverage, 2005-2006 (Average Annual Estimates).
For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at mailto:Bob.Isquith@ahrq.hhs.gov or call (301) 427-1539.