Out-of-pocket Expenditure on Health Care Among Elderly and Non-elderly Households in India

Research paper by Sanjay K. Mohanty, Rajesh K. Chauhan, Sumit Mazumdar, Akanksha Srivastava

Indexed on: 10 Feb '13Published on: 10 Feb '13Published in: Social indicators research


Using the consumption expenditure data, National Sample Survey, 2009–2010, this paper test the hypothesis that the monthly per capita household health spending of elderly households is significantly higher than non-elderly households in India. The households are classified into three mutually exclusive groups; households with only elderly members (elderly households), households with elderly and non-elderly members and households without any elderly member. The health spending include the institutional (hospitalization) and non-institutional health expenditure of the households, standardized for 30 days. Descriptive statistics and a two part model are used to understand the differentials in health expenditures across households. Results indicate that the monthly per capita health spending increases with economic status, occupation, age and educational attainment of the head of the household. The monthly per capita health spending of elderly households is 3.8 times higher than that of non-elderly households. While the health spending accounts 13 % of total consumption expenditure for elderly households, it was 7 % among households with elderly and non-elderly members, and 5 % among non-elderly households. Controlling for socio-economic and demographic correlates, the per-capita household health spending among elderly households and among household with elderly and non-elderly members was significantly higher than non-elderly households. The health expenditure is catastrophic for poorer households, casual labourer and households with elderly members. Based on the finding we suggest to increased access to health insurance and public spending on geriatric care to reduce the out-of-pocket expenditure on health care in India.