The Australian federal government introduced private health insurance incentive policy reforms in 2000 that increased the uptake of private health insurance in Australia. There is currently a lack of evidence on the effect of the policy reforms on access to cardiovascular interventions in public and private hospitals in Australia. The aim was to investigate whether the increased private health insurance uptake influenced trends in emergency and elective coronary artery revascularisation procedures (CARPs) for private and public patients.
We included 34,423 incident CARPs from Western Australia during 1995-2008 in this study. Rates of emergency and elective CARPs were stratified for publicly and privately funded patients. The average annual percent change (AAPC) in trend was calculated before and after 2000 using joinpoint regression.
The rate of emergency CARPs, which were predominantly percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) with stenting, increased throughout the study period for both public and private patients (AAPC=12.9%, 95% CI=5.0,22.0 and 14.1%, 95% CI=9.8,18.6, respectively) with no significant difference in trends before and after policy implementation. The rate of elective PCIs with stenting from 2000 onwards remained relatively stable for public patients (AAPC=−6.0, 95% C= −16.9,6.4), but increased by 4.1% on average annually (95% CI=1.8,6.3) for private patients (pdifference=0.04 between groups). This rate increase for private patients was only seen in people aged over 65 years and people residing in high socioeconomic areas.
The private health insurance incentive policy reforms are a likely contributing factor in the shift in 2000 from public to privately-funded elective PCIs with stenting. These reforms as well as the increasing number of private hospitals may have been successful in increasing the availability of publicly-funded beds since 2000.
Health insurance; Coronary artery disease; Revascularisation procedures; Health policy
To explore the circumstances and factors that explain the association between private health insurance cover and a high rate of caesarean sections in Chile.
Qualitative analysis of audiotaped in-depth interviews with obstetricians and pregnant women; quantitative analysis of data from face to face semistructured interview survey conducted postnatally (with women who had given birth in the previous 24-72 hours), and of a review of medical notes at a public hospital, a university hospital, and a private clinic.
Qualitative arm: 22 obstetricians, 21 pregnant women; quantitative arm: 540 postnatal women.
Main outcome measures
Rates of caesarean section in different types of institutions; consultants' views on private practice; work patterns in private practice; women's reasons for choosing private care; women's preferences on method of delivery.
Private health insurance cover requires the primary maternity care provider to be an obstetrician. In the postnatal survey, women with private obstetricians showed consistently higher rates of caesarean section (range 57-83%) than those cared for by midwives or doctors on duty in public or university hospitals (range 27-28%). Only a minority of women receiving private care reported that they had wanted this method of delivery (range 6-32%). With the diversification in the healthcare market, most obstetricians now have demanding peripatetic work schedules. Private maternity patients are a lucrative source of income. The obstetrician is committed to attend these private births in person, and the “programming” (or scheduling) of births is a common time management strategy. The rate of elective caesarean sections was 30-68% in women with private obstetricians and 12-14% in women not attended by private obstetricians.
Policies on healthcare financing can influence maternity care management and outcomes in unforeseen ways. The prevailing business ethos in health care encourages such pragmatism among those doctors who do not have a moral objection to non-medical caesarean section.
To assess the effects of transitions from private to public health insurance by children on out-of-pocket medical expenditures and health insurance premium costs.
Data are drawn from the 1996 and 2001 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation. We construct a nationally representative, longitudinal sample of children, ages 0–18, and their families for the period 1998–2003, a period in which states raised public health insurance eligibility rates for children.
We exploit the Survey of Income and Program Participation's longitudinal design to identify children in our sample who transition from private to public health insurance. We then use a bootstrapped instrumental variable approach to estimate the effects of these transitions on out-of-pocket expenditures and health insurance premium costs.
Children who transition from private to public coverage are relatively low-income, are disproportionately likely to live in single-mother households, and are more likely to be Black or of Hispanic origin. Child health status is highly predictive of transitions. We estimate that these transitions provide a cash-equivalent transfer of nearly U.S.$1,500 annually for families in the form of reduced out-of-pocket and health insurance premium costs.
Transitions from private to public health coverage by children can bring important social benefits to vulnerable families. This suggests that instead of being a net societal cost, such transitions may provide an important social benefit.
Medicaid; State Children's Health Insurance Program; health insurance; crowd-out; medical expenses; Survey of Income and Program Participation
We examine the prevalence and correlates of health insurance status among low-income fathers, a group not previously studied in this context. In a sample of 1,653 low-income fathers from a national urban birth cohort study, 29% had private, 14% had public, and 58% had no insurance. Privately insured fathers had greater levels of human capital than did publicly insured fathers; the latter more closely resembled uninsured fathers than they did privately insured fathers. Multinomial logistic regression analysis indicates that being older, being employed, being married, and having a job offering health insurance all increase the likelihood of having private (vs. no) insurance, and that being disabled and married to or cohabiting with the child’s mother increase the likelihood of having public (vs. no) insurance. Public policy should focus on increasing access to health insurance among low-income men, which may improve their health, productivity, and ability to support themselves and their children.
Health insurance; low-income fathers; physical health; men’s health; mental health
Proposals to expand Medicare coverage tend to be expensive, but the value of services purchased is not known. This study evaluates the efficiency of the average private supplemental insurance plan for Medicare recipients.
Data from the National Health Interview Survey, the National Death Index, and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey were analyzed to estimate the costs, changes in life expectancy, and health-related quality of life gains associated with providing private supplemental insurance coverage for Medicare beneficiaries. Model inputs included socio-demographic, health, and health behavior characteristics.
Parameter estimates from regression models were used to predict quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and costs associated with private supplemental insurance relative to Medicare only. Markov decision analysis modeling was then employed to calculate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios.
Medicare supplemental insurance is associated with increased health care utilization, but the additional costs associated with this utilization are offset by gains in quality-adjusted life expectancy. The incremental cost-effectiveness of private supplemental insurance is approximately $24,000 per QALY gained relative to Medicare alone.
Supplemental insurance for Medicare beneficiaries is a good value, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio comparable to medical interventions commonly deemed worthwhile.
The health insurance system in Taiwan is comprised of public health insurance and private health insurance. The public health insurance, called “universal national health insurance” (NHI), was first established in 1995 and amended in 2011. The goal of this study is to provide an updated description of several important aspects of health insurance in Taiwan. Of special interest are household insurance coverage, medical expenditures (both gross and out-of-pocket), and coping strategies.
Data was collected via a phone call survey conducted in August and September of 2011. A household was the unit for survey and data analysis. A total of 2,424 households covering all major counties and cities in Taiwan were surveyed.
The survey revealed that households with smaller sizes and higher incomes were more likely to have higher coverage of public and private health insurance. In addition, households with the presence of chronic diseases were more likely to have both types of insurance. Analysis of both gross and out-of-pocket medical expenditure was conducted. It was suggested that health insurance could not fully remove the financial burden caused by illness. The presence of chronic disease and inpatient treatment were significantly associated with higher gross and out-of-pocket medical expenditure. In addition, the presence of inpatient treatment was significantly associated with extremely high medical expenditure. Regional differences were also observed, with households in the northern, central, and southern regions having less gross medical expenditures than those on the offshore islands. Households with the presence of inpatient treatment were more likely to cope with medical expenditure using means other than salaries.
Despite the considerable achievements of the health insurance system in Taiwan, there is still room for improvement. This study investigated coverage, cost, and coping strategies and may be informative to stakeholders of both basic and commercial health insurance.
Taiwan; Health insurance coverage; Medical expenditure; Coping strategy
This article examines the factors that affect Medicare beneficiaries' choices in the supplemental health insurance market. Data include detailed survey information as well as copies of the health insurance policies owned by a sample of approximately 2,500 Medicare beneficiaries in six states during 1982. Logit analysis is employed to analyze the determinants of four dependent variables: whether a person owns (1) one or more private supplemental insurance policies, (2) two or more policies, (3) at least one policy that we define as "effective," and (4) a policy we define to be "less effective." Those who are better off from a socioeconomic standpoint appear to be making more effective choices in the supplemental health insurance market. However, there does not appear to be a relationship between consumer ignorance or vulnerability and the purchase of multiple supplemental insurance policies. Study results imply an important role for public policy in helping to provide the information necessary to ensure that the most vulnerable beneficiaries make insurance choices that are in their best interest.
Everyone agrees that insurance for long-term care is inadequate in the United States. Disagreement exists, however, on whether such insurance should be provided through the private or public sector. Private insurance generally uses the experience-rating principle that persons with higher risk of illness are charged higher premiums. For private insurance for long-term care, this principle creates a dilemma. Most policies will be purchased by the elderly; yet, because the elderly have a high risk of needing long-term care, only about 20% of them can afford the cost of premiums. A public-private partnership by which the government partially subsidizes private long-term-care insurance is unlikely to resolve this dilemma. Only a social insurance program for long-term care can provide universal, affordable, and equitable coverage.
This article bridges the literatures on the economic consequences of divorce for women with that on marital transitions and health by focusing on women's health insurance. Using a monthly calendar of marital status and health insurance coverage from 1,442 women in the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we examine how women's health insurance changes after divorce. Our estimates suggest that roughly 115,000 American women lose private health insurance annually in the months following divorce and that roughly 65,000 of these women become uninsured. The loss of insurance coverage we observe is not just a short-term disruption. Women's rates of insurance coverage remain depressed for more than two years after divorce. Insurance loss may compound the economic losses women experience after divorce, and contribute to as well as compound previously documented health declines following divorce.
Data are presented from a recent survey of the United States population comparing the characteristics and levels of access to medical care of persons under 65 years who have group or individual private health insurance, public health insurance, or no third-party coverage. The uninsured group appeared to fall between the privately insured and publicly insured groups on measures of social and economic status. Persons with publicly subsidized forms of insurance coverage utilized services at the highest rates, and uninsured persons used them at the lowest rates. Neither of these groups was as satisfied with the convenience or the quality of the care it obtained as the privately insured group. Implications of these findings for national health insurance and other health policy initiatives are discussed.
A new national initiative in comparative effectiveness research (CER) is part of a broad and long-term evolution toward greater reliance on scientific evidence in clinical practice and medical policy. But CER has been controversial because of its high profile in the health care reform effort, its instantiation in a prominent new national research institute, and lingering concerns that the ultimate goal of CER is to empower the government and private insurers to reduce health care costs by restricting access to expensive new medical tests and treatments. This article presents an analysis of the policy development behind CER and focuses on its potential impact on insurance coverage and payment for oncology services. By itself, CER will not solve the tension that exists between the goal of innovative, personalized care and the eroding affordability of cancer treatment in the United States. But CER does offer an important opportunity for progress. Oncologists have taken important first steps in acknowledging their responsibility for addressing cost issues; as a professional society, they should now move forward to assume leadership in the effort to integrate clinical evidence with considerations of cost effectiveness to guide clinical practice and insurer policies.
The objectives of this study are (1) to compare the prevalence of a medical home between children with public and private insurance across states, (2) to investigate the association between a medical home and state health care characteristics for children with public and private insurance. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health, estimating the prevalence of parents’ report of a medical home and its components for publicly- and privately-insured children in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We then performed a series of random-effects multilevel logistic regression models to assess the associations between a medical home and insurance type, individual sociodemographic characteristics, and state level characteristics/policies. The prevalence of a medical home varied significantly across states for both publicly- and privately-insured children (ranges: 33–63 % and 57–76 %, respectively). Compared to privately-insured children, publicly-insured children had a lower prevalence of a medical home in all states (public–private difference: 5–34 %). Low prevalence of a medical home was driven primarily by less family-centered care. Variation across states and differences by insurance type were largely attributable to lower reports of a medical home among traditionally vulnerable groups of children, including racial/ethnic minorities and non-English primary language speakers. The prevalence of a medical home was not associated with state level characteristics/policies. There are significant disparities between states in parents’ report of a medical home for their children, especially for publicly-insured children. Interventions seeking to address these disparities will need to target family-centered care for traditionally vulnerable populations of children.
Medical home; Public insurance; Disparities; Health policy; National Survey of Children’s Health
The health insurance system in Japan is based upon the Universal Medical Care Insurance System, which gives all citizens the right to join an insurance scheme of their own choice, as guaranteed by the provisions of Article 25 of the Constitution of Japan, which states: “All people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living.” The health care system in Japan includes national medical insurance, nursing care for the elderly, and government payments for the treatment of intractable diseases. Medical insurance provisions are handled by Employee’s Health Insurance (Social Insurance), which mainly covers employees of private companies and their families, and by National Health Insurance, which provides for the needs of self-employed people. Both schemes have their own medical care service programs for retired persons and their families. The health care system for the elderly covers people 75 years of age and over and bedridden people 65 years of age and over. There is also a system under which the government pays all or part of medical expenses, and/or pays medical expenses not covered by insurance. This is referred to collectively as the “medical expenses payment system” and includes the provision of medical assistance for specified intractable diseases. Because severe acute pancreatitis has a high mortality rate, it is specified as an intractable disease. In order to lower the mortality rate of various diseases, including severe acute pancreatitis, the specification system has been adopted by the government. The cost of treatment for severe acute pancreatitis is paid in full by the government from the date the application is made for a certificate verifying that the patient has an intractable disease.
Medical care system; Acute pancreatitis; Japan’s health insurance system; Government payment system
OBJECTIVE: To inform the debate about managed care by examining how different types of private insurance-indemnity insurance, PPOs, open model HMOs, and closed model HMOs-affect the use of health services and consumer assessments of care. DATA SOURCES/DATA COLLECTION: The 1996-1997 Community Tracking Study Household Survey, a nationally representative telephone survey of households, and the Community Tracking Study Insurance Followback Survey, a supplement to the Household Survey, which asks insurance organizations to match household respondents to specific insurance products. The analysis sample includes 27,257 nonelderly individuals covered by private insurance. STUDY DESIGN: Based on insurer reports, individuals are grouped into one of the four insurance product types. Measures of service use include ambulatory visits, preventive care use, hospital use, surgeries, specialist use, and whether there is a usual source of care. Consumer assessments of care include unmet or delayed care needs, satisfaction with health care, ratings of the last physician visit, and trust in physicians. Estimates are adjusted to control for differences in individual characteristics and location. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: As one moves from indemnity insurance to PPOs to open model HMOs to closed model HMOs, use of primary care increases modestly but use of specialists is reduced. Few differences are observed in other areas of service use, such as preventive care, hospital use, and surgeries. The likelihood of having unmet or delayed care does not vary by insurance type, but the reasons that underlie such access problems do vary: enrollees in more managed products are less likely to cite financial barriers to care but are more likely to perceive problems in provider access, convenience, and organizational factors. Consumer assessments of care-including satisfaction with care, ratings of the last physician visit, and trust in physicians-are generally lower under more managed products, particularly closed model HMOs. CONCLUSIONS: The type of insurance that people have-not just whether it is managed care but the type of managed care-affects their use of services and their assessments of the care they receive. Consumers and policymakers should be reminded that managed care encompasses a variety of types of insurance products that have different effects and may require different policy responses.
How realistic are proposals to expand the financing of Canadian health care through private insurance, either in a parallel stream or an expanded supplementary tier? Any successful business requires that revenues exceed expenditures. Under a voluntary health insurance plan those at highest risk would be the most likely to seek coverage; insurers working within a competitive market would have to limit their financial risk through such mechanisms as "risk selection" to avoid clients likely to incur high costs and/or imposing caps on the costs covered. It is unlikely that parallel private plans will have a market if a comprehensive public insurance system continues to exist and function well. Although supplementary plans are more congruous with insurance principles, they would raise costs for purchasers and would probably not provide full open-ended coverage to all potential clients. Insurance principles suggest that voluntary insurance plans that shift costs to the private sector would damage the publicly funded system and would be unable to cover costs for all services required.
A paper by Selden and Sing (2008) reminds us of what was at stake 45 years ago, when Emmett Hall recommended universal public medical insurance over private–public alternatives. While focusing exclusively on the United States, it also helps to explain why universal pharmacare is being diverted into that same private–public dead end through public “catastrophic” coverage. Governments finance, through many different programs, most US health expenditure. Spending programs – Medicaid, Medicare and others – primarily benefit the unhealthy and unwealthy. However, benefits of the largest program, the tax exemption for private insurance, are heavily tilted towards the highest incomes and are essentially unrelated to health. This pattern (also found in Canada) may help explain political support for private insurance, despite its excessive administrative cost and inability to cover those in greatest need.
China has one of the world's largest health insurance systems, composed of government-run basic health insurance and commercial health insurance. The basic health insurance has undergone system-wide reform in recent years. Meanwhile, there is also significant development in the commercial health insurance sector. A phone call survey was conducted in three major cities in China in July and August, 2011. The goal was to provide an updated description of the effect of health insurance on the population covered. Of special interest were insurance coverage, gross and out-of-pocket medical cost and coping strategies.
Records on 5,097 households were collected. Analysis showed that smaller households, higher income, lower expense, presence of at least one inpatient treatment and living in rural areas were significantly associated with a lower overall coverage rate. In the separate analysis of basic and commercial health insurance, similar factors were found to have significant associations. Higher income, presence of chronic disease, presence of inpatient treatment, higher coverage rates and living in urban areas were significantly associated with higher gross medical cost. A similar set of factors were significantly associated with higher out-of-pocket cost. Households with lower income, inpatient treatment, higher commercial insurance coverage, and living in rural areas were significantly more likely to pursue coping strategies other than salary.
The surveyed cities and surrounding rural areas had socioeconomic status far above China's average. However, there was still a need to further improve coverage. Even for households with coverage, there was considerable out-of-pocket medical cost, particularly for households with inpatient treatments and/or chronic diseases. A small percentage of households were unable to self-finance out-of-pocket medical cost. Such observations suggest possible targets for further improving the health insurance system.
This article reviews the economic dimensions of the CMA's decision-making framework on core and comprehensive services. The framework was developed in a policy context characterized by three government objectives: reduction, reallocation and reassignment of health care resources. One economic-evaluation tool for the determination of core services is cost-effectiveness analysis. Some of the critical demand-side and supply-side considerations include the perceived value of medical services, the availability of private insurance and the supply of health care providers. The article concludes that shifting services to the private sector should not be viewed as a panacea for reducing the costs and improving the economic efficiency of the health care system, or for increasing patient access to, or the cost-effectiveness of high-quality care.
The aim of this study was to develop a policy characterisation process based on measuring shifts in use of private health insurance (PHI) immediately following implementation of changes in federal health care policy.
Population-based hospital morbidity data from 1980 to 2001 were used to produce trend lines in the annual proportions of public, privately insured and privately uninsured hospital separations in age-stratified subgroups. A policy characterisation model was developed using visual and statistical assessment of the trend lines associated with changes in federal health care policy.
Of eight changes in federal health care policy, two (introduction of Medicare and Lifetime Health Cover) were directly associated with major changes in the trend lines; however, minor changes in trends were associated with several of the other federal policies. Three types of policy effects were characterised by our model: direction change, magnitude change and inhibition. Results from our model suggest that a policy of Lifetime Health Cover, with a sanction for late adoption of PHI, was immediately successful in changing the private: public mix. The desired effect of the 30% rebate was immediate only in the oldest age group (70+ years), however, introduction of the lifetime health cover and limitations in the model restricted the ability to determine whether or if the rebate had a delayed effect at younger ages.
An outcome-based policy characterisation model is useful in evaluating immediate effects of changes in health care policy.
This article is concerned with the key economic characteristics of Australia's mental health system. First, some brief conceptual and empirical descriptions are provided of Australia's mental health services, both as a total system, and of its two principal components, viz. public psychiatric institutions and private psychiatry services. Expenditures on public psychiatric hospitals clearly demonstrate the effect of deinstitutionalisation. Data from 1984 on private practice psychiatry indicate that per capita utilisation rates peaked in 1996 and have since fallen. Generally, since 1984 gross fees have not risen. However, for both utilisation and fees, there is evidence (of a statistical kind) that there are significant differences between the states of Australia, in these two variables (utilisation and fees). Emphasis is also placed on the economic incentives that arise from health insurance and the heterogeneous nature of mental illness. The effects of these incentives are regarded as by-products of the health insurance mechanism; and another effect, "unmet need" and "met non-need", is a somewhat unique problem of an informational kind. Discussion of many of these issues concludes on a somewhat negative note, e.g. that no empirical results are available to quantify the particular effect that is discussed. This is a manifestation of the lacunae of economic studies of the mental health sector.
In this paper, we use publicly available data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component (MEPS-IC) to investigate the effect of Massachusetts’ health reform plan on employer-sponsored insurance premiums. We tabulate premium growth for private-sector employers in Massachusetts and the United States as a whole for 2004 – 2008. We estimate the effect of the plan as the difference in premium growth between Massachusetts and the United States between 2006 and 2008—that is, before versus after the plan—over and above the difference in premium growth for 2004 to 2006. We find that health reform in Massachusetts increased single-coverage employer-sponsored insurance premiums by about 6 percent, or $262. Although our research design has important limitations, it does suggest that policy makers should be concerned about the consequences of health reform for the cost of private insurance.
Since 1996, Washington State law has required private health insurance to cover licensed CAM providers. This study evaluated how insured people used CAM providers and what role this played in health care utilization and expenditures.
Cross sectional analysis of calendar year 2002 insurance enrollees from Western Washington State.
Analysis of insurance demographic data, claims files, benefit information, diagnoses, CAM and conventional provider utilization, and health care expenditures for three large health insurance companies.
Among over 600,000 enrollees, 13.7% made CAM claims. This included 1.6% of enrollees with claims for naturopathy, 1.3% acupuncture, 2.4% massage and 10.9% chiropractic. Patients enrolled in Preferred Provider Organizations and Point of Service products were significantly more likely to use CAM than those with Health Maintenance Organization coverage. CAM use was greater in women and people between 31 and 50 years of age. Chiropractic was more frequent in less populous counties. CAM provider visits usually focused on musculoskeletal complaints, except for naturopathic physicians who treated a broader array of problems. Median per visit expenditures for CAM care were $39.00 compared to $74.40 for conventional outpatient care. Total expenditures per enrollee were $2,589 of which $75 (2.9%) was spent on CAM.
The number of people using CAM insurance benefits was substantial; the effect on insurance expenditures was modest. Because the long term trajectory of CAM cost under third party payment is unknown, utilization of these services should be followed.
Complementary Therapies; Health Care Costs; Insurance Claim Review; Utilization Review
Medicare is the largest health care program in the country, providing medical care to 38 million aged and disabled Americans. Concerns over rapid cost increases and the imminent insolvency of the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund led to enactment of sweeping Medicare legislation as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Preliminary estimates indicate that this legislation will result in program savings of $150 billion in the first five years and will postpone the depletion of the Hospital Insurance fund from the year 2001 until about 2010. While the Balanced Budget Act significantly reduces Hospital Insurance expenditure in the long range, serious deficits are still expected when the "baby boom" generation reaches retirement. The Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance trust fund is automatically in financial balance, but policy makers remain concerned about continuing rapid cost increases. A new National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare will attempt to determine effective solutions to these long-range problems.
In China, despite a high coverage rate, health insurance is not used for all illness episodes. Our goal is to identify subjects’ characteristics associated with insurance utilization and the association between utilization and medical expenditure.
A survey was conducted in January and February of 2012. 2093 middle-aged and elderly subjects (45 years old and above) were surveyed.
Heath insurance was not utilized for 12.6% (inpatient), 53.3% (outpatient), and 72.6% (self-treatment) of disease episodes. Subjects’ characteristics were associated with insurance utilization. Inpatient and outpatient treatments were expensive. In the multivariate analysis of outpatient treatment expenditure, insurance utilization was significantly associated with higher treatment cost, lost income, and gross total cost.
Utilization of health insurance may need to be improved. Insurance utilization can reduce out-of-pocket medical expenditure. However, the amount paid by the insured is still high. Policy intervention is needed to further improve the effectiveness of health insurance.
To compare Veterans Health Administration (VA) patients, non-VA-using veterans, and nonveterans, separated by urban/rural residence and age group, on their use of major categories of medical care and payment sources.
Expenditures for health care–using men in Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys from 1996 through 2004.
Retrospective, cross-sectional analysis.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods
Controlling for demographics, health status, and insurance, we compared groups on population-weighted expenditures for inpatient, hospital-based outpatient, office-based, pharmacy, and other care, by major payers (self/family, private insurance, Medicare, other sources, and VA).
VA users received most of their health care outside of the VA system, paid through private insurance or Medicare; self-payments were substantial. VA users under 65 reported worse health if they were rural residents but also lower expenditures overall and less care through private insurance.
VA health care users get most of their medical care from non-VA providers. Working-age VA users have less insurance coverage and rely more on VA care if they live in rural areas.
Veterans; rural; expenditures