Economics of Health
1 January 2013
Annual Per Capita Healthcare Costs By Age
The United States has way higher healthcare costs than any other country in the OECD, mostly which is because of the extremely high expenses later in life. 17 cents of every US dollar is being spent on health care. At about age 60, healthcare expenses for US citizens skyrocket, averaging between $40,000 to $45,000 a year per person, which is way above Germany, who has the next highest with only about $10,000.
Dr. Ficshbeck, an engineering professor who runs a website called deathriskrankings.com, says the high costs are not completely without some reward. He said when it comes to deaths caused by disease, men from the US have a survival advantage over men from western Europe starting around age 65 that steadily increases over time. American women have this same advantage starting around age 80. This means if Americans died from diseases at the same rate as people from the Netherlands, for example, there would be about 60,000 more male deaths and 14,000 more female deaths in the US, all after the age of 70. France is among the few exceptions because they have a lower death rate from disease, but for the most part, the United States has a lower rate of diseased-caused deaths than Western Europe.
Dr. Ficshbeck’s research also shows evidence that Americans have a higher death rate during young adulthood and middle age mainly due to health. Obesity rates, which are one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes, are 3 times higher in America than France, and more than twice as high as in Germany. This study could mean that American healthcare is not totally at fault for not producing better results, but the American people themselves should be to blame for not making better health choices earlier in there lives. Ficshbeck believes that the edge the United States is getting in the latter years are due to our superior screening and treatment of diseases,...