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STATISTICAL BRIEF #299:
Dental Expenditures in the 10 Largest States, 2007


November 2010
Frederick Rohde, MA

Highlights

  • In 2007, dental expenditures represented 7.3 percent of all medical expenditures.
  • The percentage of persons with a dental expenditure in 2007 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 higher in California in 2007 compared to the national average.
  • Compared to the national average, the percentage of dental care expenditures paid by private insurance was lower in Florida.
  • The percentage of dental care expenditures paid out of pocket was higher in Florida and lower in Ohio compared to the national average.

Introduction

In 2007, expenditures for dental care accounted for 7.3 percent of the overall healthcare expenditures among the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. 42.4 percent of the population had a dental expenditure, and the average annual expense per person for them was $643 in 2007.

Dental expenditures are distinguished from overall health care expenditures in the distribution by sources of payment. A higher percentage of dental expenditures was paid out of pocket (49.1 percent for dental versus 16.2 percent overall) and a lower percentage was paid by Medicaid (4.3 percent versus 8.7 percent). Dental and overall expenditures were similar in the percentage paid by private insurance (42.8 percent versus 42.4 percent) in 2007.

Many factors can influence health care expenses in a particular state, including the demographic, socioeconomic, and health status characteristics of the population. Further, the prevalence and types of health insurance coverage in a state can impact access to care, the level of expenditures, and the extent to which different sources finance health care services.

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 U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population in 2007 for the 10 largest states, and compares the results to the national average in 2007. 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 2007, 42.4 percent of the U.S. civilian population had an expense for dental care (figure 1). The percentage with a dental expense was lower in California (39.1 percent), Texas (30.8 percent), Florida (34.1 percent), and Georgia (34.5 percent) and higher in Michigan (54.2 percent).

Among those persons with a dental expenditure in the U.S., the average annual expense was $643 (figure 2). This average was higher in California ($813).

42.8 percent of dental expenses in 2007 were paid by private insurance in the U.S. (figure 3). This percentage was lower in Florida (27.5 percent).

49.1 percent of dental expenses were paid out of pocket in the U.S. in 2007 (figure 4). This was higher in Florida (69.0 percent) and lower in Ohio (40.2 percent).

Data Source

The estimates shown in this Statistical Brief are drawn from analyses conducted by MEPS staff using expenditure data from the following public use file: MEPS HC-113: 2007 Full Year Consolidated Data File, November 2009.

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 2003: 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, 2007. Statistical Brief #299. November 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st299/stat299.shtml

* * *

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
Figure data for accessible table follows the image
Figure 1. Percentage of persons who had a dental expenditure in 2007, U.S. and 10 largest states
USCATXNYFLILPAOHMIGANJ
42.439.130.840.834.140.141.641.054.234.540.9
Source: Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2007

Figure data for accessible table follows the image
Figure 2. Average dental expenditures for persons who had an expenditure in 2007, U.S. and 10 largest states
USCATXNYFLILPAOHMIGANJ
643813626605680620640583610558783
Source: Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2007

Figure data for accessible table follows the image
Figure 3. Percentage of dental expenditures paid by private insurance in 2007, U.S. and 10 largest states
USCATXNYFLILPAOHMIGANJ
42.842.638.140.327.544.838.948.548.738.140.5
Source: Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2007

Figure data for accessible table follows the image
Figure 4. Percentage of dental expenditures paid out of pocket in 2007, U.S. and 10 largest states
USCATXNYFLILPAOHMIGANJ
49.145.750.948.569.044.749.140.242.357.454.1
Source: Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2007