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Distributions of Family Hospital and Physician Expenses

By Bernard Friedman

Abstract

The paper develops frequency distribution of annual health expense for a variety of family compositions. The basic data resource was a sample of claims for a large group of federal employees in 1977. The primary data were compared in several aspects against three other sources of reference data on expenses by the non-aged population; the comparisons were reassuring. The method of convolution is used to obtain family frequency distributions from the distribution for individual adults and children. This technique is necessary when the claims data do not record family com-position. In consequence, the results may not be nationally representative of households which are relatively large or affected by unemployment. Aside from this special reservation, the experience of the non-elderly federal employee families seems to be a useful resource for policy analysis.

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