Although the “affordability” of health care is a common concern, the term is rarely defined. Fundamentally, affordability is a function of income, spending, and judgments about the value of goods and services for their price. This brief considers affordability as an economic concept, as a kitchen-table budget issue for individuals and families, and as a threshold in current policy. It reviews a range of measures that capture the cost burden for individuals and families with different forms of coverage, in different financial circumstances, and with different health concerns.
Read the joint brief between United States of Care and Penn’s Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics.