Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Factors affecting catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment from medical expenses in China: policy implications of universal health insurance

Ye Li, Qunhong Wu, Ling Xu, David Legge, Yanhua Hao, Lijun Gao, Ning Ning & Gang Wan

Volume 90, Number 9, September 2012, 664-671

Table 1. Distribution of household health expenditure across consumption expenditure quintiles, China, 2008

Indicator Expenditure quintilea
1 2 3 4 5 All
Average monthly out-of-pocket health expenditure (US$)b 6.8 11.6 15.7 22.6 50.8 21.7
Average capacity to pay (US$)b 32.0 56.6 84.2 135.2 327.6 129.2
Out-of-pocket share of monthly household expenditure (%) 12.7 12.0 11.6 11.6 12.3 12.1
Capacity to pay out of pocket (%) 22.2 20.5 18.5 16.6 14.9 18.5
Households with catastrophic health expenditure (%) 15.8 14.3 12.7 11.3 10.7 13.0

US$, United States dollars.

a Quintile 1 is the poorest and quintile 5 the wealthiest.

b Based on a currency exchange rate of 6.9451 yuan to US$ 1.00.