AHRQ Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

The Internet provides a wealth of information. I learned today the federal government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) produces an annual Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The survey was recently updated with 2004 data. The AHRQ website explains that

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which began in 1996, is a set of large-scale surveys of families and individuals, their medical providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.), and employers across the United States. MEPS collects data on the specific health services that Americans use, how frequently they use them, the cost of these services, and how they are paid for, as well as data on the cost, scope, and breadth of health insurance held by and available to U.S. workers. MEPS currently has two major components: the Household Component and the Insurance Component. The Household Component provides data from individual households and their members, which is supplemented by data from their medical providers. The Insurance Component is a separate survey of employers that provides data on employer-based health insurance.

For example, here’s a link from the Insurance Component to a 2004 table showing the Percent of private-sector employees in establishments that offer health insurance by firm size and State. The survey also discloses regional variations in health insurance premiums. It’s the holiday season. Enjoy!