Personal and contextual factors that contribute to a higher out-of-pocket to total income ratio
Citation: Bennett KJ, Dismuke CE, Pumkam C. Personal and contextual factors that contribute to a higher out-of-pocket to total income ratio. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2010; 10: 1547. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=1547 (Accessed 17 October 2017)
Introduction: This analysis sought to define the out-of-pocket healthcare spending to total income ratio for rural residents, as well as to explore the impact of county-level factors that may contribute to urban–rural differences.
Methods: Three years of pooled data were utilized from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2003–2005). The dependent variable was the ratio of total out-of-pocket healthcare spending to total income, at the household level. Unadjusted and adjusted analyses estimated the factors associated with this ratio, including rurality, socio-demographics, and county-level factors.
Results: The unadjusted analysis indicated that small adjacent and remote rural residents had higher out-of-pocket to total income ratios than urban residents. The adjusted multivariate analysis indicated that when other factors are held equal, rurality is no longer a significant factor. Other factors such as insurance type, healthcare utilization, and income, which differ significantly by rurality, are better predictors of the ratio.
Conclusions: The identification of factors that contribute to a higher ratio among some rural residents is necessary in order to better target interventions that will reduce this financial burden.
Key words: household income, out-of-pocket expenditures, USA.
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