Retirees spending more on health insurance

July 13, 2000

Retired households spent more of their budgets on health insurance in 1997 than in 1987.

Expenditure distribution for retired consumer units, 1987 and 1997 (percent)
[Chart data—TXT]

In 1997, the share of retired households’ expenditures devoted to health insurance was 7.4 percent, up from 5.2 percent in 1987. The share spent on all other health care expenses fell to 5.9 percent in 1997, from 6.6 percent in 1987.

Of the categories shown in the chart, health insurance increased the most as a share of expenditures (measuring change in percentage points). The health insurance share rose 2.2 percentage points, compared with 1.4 percentage points for entertainment and 0.4 percentage point for transportation. The remaining categories had decreases in their shares from 1987 to 1997.

These data are produced by the BLS Consumer Expenditure Surveys program. More information can be found in Issues in Labor Statistics: Consumer Spending During Retirement. (Summary 00-11, May 2000). A consumer unit is classified as retired if the reference person is 65 years of age or older and retired, and there are no earners in the household.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Retirees spending more on health insurance on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/jul/wk2/art04.htm (visited July 29, 2016).

OF INTEREST

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.