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Average Cost for People with Hospital ER Visit, MEPS

Average expenses for people who had one or more visits to the Emergency Room (ER) were $1533 in 2014, up 7.7% from 2013 according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Median, or typical, cost was $749. For people ages 45 to 64, the cost was substantially higher on average ($2176, up 18%). Uninsured people under age 65 averaged $1251 in expenses ($585 median), of which they paid more than 1/3 out of pocket. While average cost for those age 65 and up was generally $1300-1400, Medicare recipients paid only 3 to 6% out of pocket. Median charges for children under age 18 were $449 to $544. In a separate report (not shown), the average expenditure PER Emergency Room visit for 2016 was reported at $1004, compared to $265 for a physician office visit. Many ER users end up having more than one trip to the Emergency department, so the expenses can add up in a year. The federal government has not prepared a detailed report for the 2016 data, yet. It may have discontinued detailed explanations, in favor of the online interactive tool – which we think would be very unfortunate.

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