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STATISTICAL BRIEF #263:
Dental Expenditures in the 10 Largest States, 2006


September 2009
Frederick Rohde, MA

Highlights

  • In 2006, dental expenditures represented 7.4 percent of all medical expenditures.
  • The percentage of persons with a dental expenditure in 2006 was lower than the national average in California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia; and higher than the national average in Michigan.
  • The average expenditure for dental care among persons with an expenditure was lower in Georgia and Ohio in 2006 compared to the national average.
  • Compared to the national average, the percentage of dental care expenditures paid by private insurance was lower in Texas, New York, Florida and Georgia; it was higher in Ohio and Michigan.
  • The percentage of dental care expenditures paid out of pocket was higher in Florida and lower in Pennsylvania compared to the national average.

Introduction


In 2006, expenditures for dental care among the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population were 7.4 percent of total health care expenditures. The mean dental expense per person with an expense in 2006 was $607.

This Statistical Brief presents estimates based on data from the Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS-HC) on the use, expenditures, and sources of payments for dental expenditures for persons in the community population in 2006 for the 10 largest states, and compares the results to the national average in 2006. Only those estimates with statistically significant differences from the national average using a multiple comparison procedure at the .05 significance level are noted in the text.

Findings


In 2006, 42.0 percent of all persons had an expenditure for dental care (figure 1). The percentage of persons in California (36.2 percent), Texas (30.4 percent), Florida (34.3 percent), and Georgia (34.9 percent) was lower than the national average, and the percentage of persons in Michigan (52.5 percent) was higher.

The national average expenditure for dental care was $607 in 2006 (figure 2). The average amount was lower in Ohio ($474) and Georgia ($466).

Private insurance paid for 42.9 percent of dental expenditures in 2006 (figure 3). The percentage paid by private insurance was lower in Texas (36.4 percent), New York (31.4 percent), Florida (33.2 percent) and Georgia (39.7 percent). It was higher in Ohio (51.3 percent) and Michigan (50.4 percent).

The percentage of dental expenditures paid out of pocket in the U.S. in 2006 was 49.2 percent (figure 4). This share was higher in Florida (62.5 percent) and lower in Pennsylvania (41.8 percent). The estimate for Ohio (40.2 percent) appears to be lower than the U.S.; however, because of its high standard error, it was not found to be statistically different than the estimate for the entire U.S.

Data Source


The estimates shown in this Statistical Brief are drawn from analyses conducted by the MEPS staff from the following public use file, MEPS HC-105: 2006 Full Year Consolidated Data File, November 2008.

Definitions


Expenditures
Expenditures include total payments from all sources to hospitals, physicians, other health care providers (including dental care and home health), pharmacies, and providers of other medical equipment for services reported by respondents in the MEPS-HC. Sources include direct payments from individuals, private insurance (including TRICARE), Medicare, Medicaid, and various other sources (including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Workers' Compensation, and miscellaneous public sources).

Dental expenditures
This subcategory of expenditures includes those expenses for any type of dental care.

About MEPS-HC


MEPS-HC is a nationally representative longitudinal survey that collects detailed information on health care utilization and expenditures, health insurance, and health status, as well as a wide variety of social demographic and economic characteristics for the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. It is cosponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Center for Health Statistics.

For more information about MEPS, call the MEPS information coordinator at AHRQ (301) 427-1406 or visit the MEPS Web site at http://www.meps.ahrq.gov.

References


For a detailed description of the MEPS-HC survey design, sample design, and methods used to minimize sources of nonsampling error, see the following publications:

Cohen, J. Design and Methods of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component. MEPS Methodology Report No. 1. AHCPR Pub. No 97-0026. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, 1997. http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/mr1/mr1.shtml

Cohen, S. Sample Design of the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component. MEPS Methodology Report No. 2. AHCPR Pub. No. 97-0027. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, 1997. http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/mr2/mr2.shtml

Cohen, S. Design Strategies and Innovations in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Medical Care, July 2005: 41(7) Supplement: III-5-III-12.

Sommers, J.P. Producing State Estimates with the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Household Component. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Working Paper No. 05011, March 2005.

Ezzati-Rice, T.M., Rohde, F., Greenblatt, J. Sample Design of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component, 1998-2007. Methodology Report No. 22. March 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/mr22/mr22.shtml

Suggested Citation


Rohde, F. Dental Expenditures in the 10 Largest States, 2006. Statistical Brief #263. September 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/data_files/publications/st263/stat263.shtml

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AHRQ welcomes questions and comments from readers of this publication who are interested in obtaining more information about access, costs, use, financing, and quality of health care in the United States. We also invite you to tell us how you are using this Statistical Brief and other MEPS data and tools and to share suggestions on how MEPS products might be enhanced to further meet your needs. Please e-mail us at mepspd@ahrq.gov or send a letter to the address below:

Steven B. Cohen, PhD, Director
Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD 20850

Table containing figure values follows image.
Figure 1. Percentage of persons who had a dental expenditure in U.S. and 10 largest states, 2006
United StatesCaliforniaTexasNew YorkFloridaIllinoisPennsylvaniaOhioMichiganGeorgiaNew Jersey
Percentage 42.036.230.443.634.343.544.444.352.534.942.8

Table containing figure values follows image.
Figure 2. Average dental expenditures for persons who had an expenditure in U.S. and 10 largest states, 2006
United StatesCaliforniaTexasNew YorkFloridaIllinoisPennsylvaniaOhioMichiganGeorgiaNew Jersey
Dollars 607682620731571548551474582466773

Table containing figure values follows image.
Figure 3. Percentage of dental expenditures paid by private insurance in U.S. and 10 largest states, 2006
United StatesCaliforniaTexasNew YorkFloridaIllinoisPennsylvaniaOhioMichiganGeorgiaNew Jersey
Percentage 42.943.436.431.433.244.243.051.350.439.743.2

Table containing figure values follows image.
Figure 4. Percentage of dental expenditures paid out of pocket in U.S. and 10 largest states, 2006
United StatesCaliforniaTexasNew YorkFloridaIllinoisPennsylvaniaOhioMichiganGeorgiaNew Jersey
Percentage 49.246.053.260.362.551.641.840.245.048.248.7