Codes and Frequencies
HCSPENDY reports about how much the family spent for medical care, including dental care, during the past 12 months. Interviewers directed respondents to exclude the insurance premiums, over-the-counter drugs, and any costs for which they expected to be reimbursed.
HCSPENDY provides only a rough estimate of the family's expenditures on medical care. Respondents were shown a card listing 6 categories [zero; less than $500; $500-$1,999; $2,000-$2,999; $3,000-$4,999; $5000 or more] and were expected to pick the category that most closely matched the medical expenditures of their family during the past 12 months.
The Field Representative's Manual for 1997-2000 stated that the estimate of family expenditures on medical care should include "only medical expenditures which could be counted as itemized deductions on income tax forms such as mental health care, eye-exams and glasses and prescription medicines." This directive was not routinely reported to respondents during the interview.
This variable is comparable over time, apart from a small change in question wording. For 1997-2003, interviewers asked, "During the past 12 months, how much did your family spend for medical care, including dental care? Do NOT include the cost of health insurance premiums, over the counter remedies, or any costs for which you expect to be reimbursed." Beginning in 2004, the substance of the question was the same, but the wording was slightly different: "The next question is about money that your family spent out of pocket on medical care. We do NOT want you to count health insurance premiums, over the counter drugs, or costs that you will be reimbursed for. In the past 12 months, about how much did your family spend for medical care and dental care?"
- 1997-2018: All persons.
- 1997-2018 : PERWEIGHT