AHRQ What's New at MEPS - Summer 2014 Update

MEPS Home Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

What's New at MEPS                                                                                                                      August 29, 2014

Upcoming Workshops

Registration is now OPEN for the MEPS Two-Day Data Users' Workshop. September 22–23, 2014, Rockville, MD. More details. . .

APHA Annual Meeting, Sunday, November 16, 2014, from 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., New Orleans, LA. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS): Using MEPS Data in National and Regional Health Services Research.

New Data Files 

This is one in a series of public use event files that provides detailed information on household reported prescribed medicines: 2012 Prescribed Medicines File (HC-152A).

Several new event-level public use files from the 2012 MEPS-HC have been released: 2012 Dental Visits File (HC-152B), 2012 Other Medical Expenses File (HC-152C)2012 Hospital Inpatient Stays File (HC-152D), 2012 Emergency Room Visits File (HC-152E), 2012 Outpatient Visits File (HC-152F)2012 Office-Based Medical Provider Visits File (HC-152G), and 2012 Home Health File (HC-152H).

The eighteenth point in time data file has been added to the site and is now available: MEPS 2013 Panel 17 Round 3/Panel 18 Round 1 Population Characteristics (HC-151).

The variables on this file are fully-imputed versions of selected employment variables from the full-year 2000-2011 consolidated public use files: 2000-2011 Employment Variables File (HC-131). 


Analytical Tools

The MEPSnet/Insurance Component data query tool has been updated with 2013 private-sector estimates.


New Publications

During the first part of 2013, 21.1 percent of persons under age 65 were uninsured. Age is strongly associated with health insurance coverage. Young adults in the 19-24 and 25-29 age groups had the greatest likelihood of being uninsured, with at least a third lacking health insurance--34.2 percent and 35.5 percent, respectively. Children (under age 18) were much less likely to be uninsured (9.5 percent). – From Statistical Brief 447: The Uninsured in America, First Part of 2013: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population under Age 65 

This Statistical Brief presents average offer and enrollment rates as well as premiums and employee contributions to premiums for single, employee-plus-one, and family health insurance coverage sponsored by private-sector employers in the 10 largest metropolitan areas of the United States. These estimates are compared to national averages for the private sector. – From Statistical Brief 446: Offer Rates, Enrollment Rates, Premiums, and Employee Contributions for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in the Private Sector for the 10 Largest Metropolitan Areas, 2013

Nationally, average annual health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored insurance across all coverage types were up in 2013 compared to 2012. Single premiums rose 3.5 percent, employee-plus-one premiums rose 3.5 percent, and family premiums rose 3.6 percent. – From Statistical Brief 445: Selection and Costs for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in the Private Sector, 2013 versus 2012

This Statistical Brief presents state variations from the national average of the cost of job-related health insurance and how these costs are shared by employers and their employees. The Brief specifically examines the average premiums and employee contributions for private-sector establishments in the 10 most populous states in 2013, using the most recent data available from the Insurance Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS-IC). – From Statistical Brief 444: State Differences in the Cost of Job-Related Health Insurance, 2013

A total of $88.3 billion was spent on treatment of cancer in 2011, compared to $56.8 billion in 2001. Retail prescription medicine expenditures on cancer increased five-fold between these years, from $2.0 billion in 2001 to $10.0 billion in 2011. – From Statistical Brief 443: Trends in Use and Expenditures for Cancer Treatment among Adults 18 and Older, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2001 and 2011

The number of women (age ≥ 50) in the U.S. noninstitutionalized civilian population increased from an average annual of 42.7 million in 2000-2001 to 55.2 million in 2010-2011. – From Statistical Brief 442: Changes in Osteoporosis Medication Use and Expenditures among Women (Age ≥ 50), United States, 2000 to 2011

Average annual out-of-pocket expenses varied by type of insurance coverage among those with some health care expenses. For example, the average of $253 for people under age 65 with public insurance (i.e., primarily Medicaid) was notably smaller than for those under 65 who had private coverage ($682) or were uninsured ($725). – From Statistical Brief 441: Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenses by Age and Insurance Coverage, 2011

An annual average of 9.3 percent of U.S. children ages 5–17 (about 5.0 million children) received some type(s) of treatment for mental health disorders in 2009–2011, with 7.0 percent of U.S. children ages 5–17 receiving ambulatory care and 2.1 percent receiving prescription medications during this period. – From Statistical Brief 440: Expenditures for Treatment of Mental Health Disorders among Children, Ages 5–17, 2009–2011: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population

A higher percentage of non-elderly adults uninsured in the first part of 2012 acquired insurance coverage in the subsequent year (24.6 percent) relative to those uninsured in the first part of 2009 (20.2 percent). In addition, a higher percentage of non-elderly adults privately insured in the first part of 2012 remained privately insured in 2013, relative to the comparable time period in 2009–2010. – From Statistical Brief 439: Transitions in Health Insurance Coverage Over Time, 2009–2013 (Selected Intervals): Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Adult Population under Age 65

Among employed individuals ages 18-64, those with the lowest hourly wage (less than $10/hour) were the most likely to be uninsured. For such individuals 33.4 percent were uninsured the entire year while 49.9 percent were uninsured for one or more months during 2012. – From Statistical Brief 438: Spells of Uninsurance: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population under Age 65, 2012

According to the MEPS-HC, 26.6 percent (71.4 million people) of the population under age 65 were uninsured at some time in 2012 and 15.7 percent (42.1 million people) were uninsured for the entire calendar year. In subgroups, 42.7 percent (13.6 million people) of young adults ages 19-25 were uninsured at some point in 2012 and 24.6 percent (7.9 million people) were uninsured for the entire calendar year. – From Statistical Brief 437: Health Insurance Status of Young Adults Ages 19-25, 2012

Across all coverage types in 2012, the average total premium for employees in lower-wage establishments was less than the average total premium for employees in higher-wage establishments in the private sector. – From Statistical Brief 436: Comparing Health Insurance Coverage and Costs for Employees in Lower-Wage versus Higher-Wage Establishments, Private Sector, 2012

Among the 130.4 million civilian employees who worked for private or public sector employers in 2012, 86.8 percent worked where the employer offered health insurance – From Statistical Brief 435: Premiums and Employee Contributions for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Private versus Public Sector, 2012

New Tabular Data 

Tables ranking the Top Prescribed Drugs from the 2012 MEPS Household Component are now available.

Health Insurance Coverage Tables for the full year 2012 (Tables 1a-5a) from the MEPS Household Component are now available. These summary tables include data on health insurance coverage by type of coverage and selected population characteristics.

Tables of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Estimates from the 2013 MEPS Insurance Component Survey are now available. These summary tables covering the private sector provide national-, state-, and metro-level estimates of offers, enrollments, total premiums, employee contributions, and plan provisions for a variety of employer characteristics.

MEPS Household Component Survey Tables of Health Insurance Coverage series for the first half of 2013 are available here.



 For more information, go to the MEPS What's New page.


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