Given the growth in national disability-associated health care expenditures (DAHE) and the changes in health insurance-specific DAHE distribution, updated estimates of state-level DAHE are needed. The objective of this study was to update state-level estimates of DAHE.
We combined data from the 2013-2015 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2013-2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and 2014 National Health Expenditure Accounts to calculate state-level DAHE for US adults in total, per adult, and per (adult) person with disability (PWD). We adjusted expenditures to 2017 prices and assessed changes in DAHE from 2003 to 2015.
In 2015, DAHE were $868 billion nationally (range, $1.4 billion in Wyoming to $102.8 billion in California) accounting for 36% of total health care expenditures (range, 29%-41%). From 2003 to 2015, total DAHE increased by 65% (range, 35%-125%). In 2015, DAHE per PWD were highest in the District of Columbia ($27 839) and lowest in Alabama ($12 603). From 2003 to 2015, per-PWD DAHE increased by 13% (range, -20% to 61%) and per-capita DAHE increased by 28% (range, 7%-84%). In 2015, Medicare DAHE per PWD ranged from $10 067 in Alaska to $18 768 in New Jersey. Medicaid DAHE per PWD ranged from $9825 in Nevada to $43 365 in the District of Columbia. Nonpublic-health insurer per-PWD DAHE ranged from $7641 in Arkansas to $18 796 in Alaska.
DAHE are substantial and vary by state. The public sector largely supports the health care costs of people with disabilities. State policy makers and other stakeholders can use these results to inform the development of public health programs that support and provide ongoing health care to people with disabilities.