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New York's Medicaid Pays Double the Program's Average National Share of Health Expenses

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: December 21, 2005

New York's Medicaid program paid 21 percent of doctors' bills, hospital bills and other expenses in that State in 2003, compared to Medicaid's U.S. average of 9.2 percent of medical expenses, according to the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

By comparison, the Illinois Medicaid program paid just 4 percent of total health expenditures in that State, while Pennsylvania's Medicaid program paid 4.4 percent of total expenditures.

The AHRQ Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) also found variations in total health expenses paid by Medicare, private health insurance, and out-of-pocket by patients or others in the Nation's 10 most populous States—California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, and Georgia. Among the variations noted:

  • The U.S. average for total health expenditures paid by private health insurance was 42.4 percent, but the average share paid by private insurance in these States ranged from a high of 59.6 percent in Pennsylvania to a low of 35.0 percent in New York.
  • Medicare's nationwide share of medical care expenditures averaged 19.9 percent, but in Illinois, Medicare accounted for 27.3 percent of all medical care spending in that State, while in Georgia Medicare accounted for just 13.5 percent of all medical care expenses.
  • The national share of medical care bills paid out of out-of-pocket was 19.6 percent. Out-of-pocket spending in Texas and New Jersey accounted for more than 22 percent of each State's total medical care expenditures, compared with 14.2 percent in Ohio.

AHRQ's data experts also examined the national and State averages for health expenditures by hospital inpatient care, outpatient or ambulatory care, prescribed medicines, and dental care.

MEPS collects information each year from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households about health care use, expenses, access, health status, and quality. MEPS does not survey members of the active military services nor persons in institutions such as nursing homes.

MEPS is a unique government survey because of the degree of detail in its data, as well as its ability to link data on health services spending and health insurance to demographic, employment, economic, health status, and other characteristics of individuals and families.

For more information, go to Statistical Brief No. 106: Estimates of Health Care Expenses for the 10 Largest States, 2003, at [PDF Help]

For related publications go to Statistical Brief No. 107: Prescription Drug Expenditures in the 10 Largest States for Persons Under Age 65, at [PDF Help] and Statistical Brief No. 103: National Health Expenses in the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2003, at [PDF Help].

If you would like more information or an interview with a MEPS researcher, please contact Bob Isquith at or (301) 427-1539, or Marion Torchia at or (301) 427-1399.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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