Half of the U.S. population accounted for more than 97% of total health care expenses in 2012, while the other half of the population accounted for the remaining 3%, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Individuals age 65 and older were characterized by substantially less concentrated levels of health care spending relative to their younger counterparts. Alternatively, the elderly had the highest mean levels of health care expenditures relative to younger population subgroups at the top quantiles of the expenditure distribution.
The top 5% of individuals with four or more chronic conditions accounted for 29.7% of health care expenditures for this subpopulation with an annual mean of $78,198. Based on chronic condition status, persons with four or more chronic conditions had the lowest concentrated levels of health care expenditures and higher annual mean expenses at the top quantiles of the expenditure distribution.
For more info, see Cohen (2014). Differentials in the concentration of health expenditures across population subgroups in the U.S., 2012. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #44. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.