Consumer out-of-pocket health care expenditures in 2008

March 25, 2010

In 2008, Consumer Expenditure Survey estimates of aggregate health care expenditures (excluding health insurance premiums, nursing home care, nonprescription drugs, nonprescription vitamins, and topical and dressings) totaled $138.5 billion.

Aggregate out-of-pocket health care expenditures, 2008
[Chart data]

Out-of-pocket hospital care expenditures—spending for inpatient hospital rooms and services provided by facilities such as general-care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse hospitals, and birthing centers, plus outpatient/emergency room care—were $21.1 billion in 2008.

Out-of-pocket expenditures for all services provided and billed by physicians were $22.0 billion.

Spending on dental services was $30.7 billion.

Expenditures for other professional services—for example, the services of chiropractors, acupuncturists, marriage counselors, nurse practitioners, podiatrists, physical therapists, psychologists, substance abuse professionals, and certified medical massage therapists—were $11.2 billion.

Prescription drugs spending was $43.0 billion in 2008; medical supplies spending, for items such as hearing aids, eyeglasses and contact lenses, $10.5 billion.

These data are from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, which collects information about out-of-pocket spending on health care and other expenses from consumer units throughout the United States. A comparison of Consumer Expenditure health care data and data from other sources appears in "Out-of-pocket health care expenditures: a comparison" (PDF) in the Monthly Labor Review, February 2010 issue.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Consumer out-of-pocket health care expenditures in 2008 on the Internet at (visited September 29, 2016).


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