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Cancer survivors spend more on health care
Date:6/13/2011

to the expenditures of cancer survivors? If they hadn't had cancer, how much less would their annual health care bills be and how much less would they be spending out of pocket?"

Earlier studies analyzing MEPS provided an incomplete picture of cancer survivors.

"We made the effort to do it right, and found the earlier estimates were off," said Short. Of the people identified as cancer survivors in the research conducted by Short and her colleagues, 53 percent were missed in earlier studies. Consequently the researchers were able to learn more about cancer survivors and their health care spending.

The researchers found that as a group, cancer survivors in the U.S. are disproportionately women, non-Hispanic whites, unmarried -- single, divorced or widowed -- and publicly insured. However, men paid 16 percent of cancer-related increases in health care out of pocket, and women paid 9 percent. According to Short, the largest out-of-pocket expense for survivors is prescriptions.

"This research is also important because cancer survivors are a sympathetic group for calling attention to the challenges that many people face in paying for health care," said Short. "Almost everybody has a friend or someone in their family who's had cancer, so it resonates. In a way, I think cancer survivors are poster children for a lot of the issues that we face as a society in considering whether and how to proceed with health care reform."


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Contact: Victoria M. Indivero
vmi1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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