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Deferred Care: How Tax Refunds Enable Healthcare Spending

Woman marking on a calendar the week she plans to receive her tax refund.

Healthcare represents a large and growing fraction of the US economy. Many policy strategies to control the rising cost of healthcare have involved giving consumers more “skin in the game.” The reasoning behind many of these strategies is that if consumers’ choices had a more direct impact on their own out-of-pocket spending, they would have more incentive to seek value for money, which in turn would reduce costs for everyone. But what if consumers’ cash flow constraints prevent them from taking on higher out-of-pocket costs in the short run, even when doing so would be better in the long run both for them and for the healthcare system overall?

In this JPMorgan Chase Institute report, we draw on the Institute’s Healthcare Out-of-Pocket Spending Panel (JPMCI HOSP) to investigate how a specific and important cash infusion—a tax refund payment—drives the timing of out-of-pocket expenditures on healthcare. We analyze average out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure on over a dozen categories of healthcare goods and services for each day in the 100 days before and after a tax refund payment, for 1.2 million checking account holders. This represents the first ever daily event study documenting how families’ out-of-pocket healthcare spending responds to the arrival of this significant cash infusion.

Read the Report  “Deferred Care: How Tax Refunds Enable Healthcare Spending”

Filing Taxes Early, Getting Healthcare Late: Insights from 1.2 Million Households

Leveraging data on 1.2 million tax refunds, we investigate variation in the timing of tax filing across socioeconomic and demographic groups, and variation in the impact of the tax refund on out-of-pocket healthcare spending.

Read the Insight  “Filing Taxes Early, Getting Healthcare Late: Insights from 1.2 Million Households”


Healthcare When It’s Needed: How to Mitigate High Costs and Deferred Care

JPMorgan Chase Healthcare Conference Panel

This recap of an Institute-led panel discussion at the 36th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference showcases key takeaways from the discussion on how to reduce total healthcare costs and help consumers receive the care they need when they need it and not just when they have the cash to pay for it.

Read the Insight  “Healthcare When It’s Needed: How to Mitigate High Costs and Deferred Care”


JPMorgan Chase Institute HOSP Geographic Data Visualization Tool

The HOSP Geographic Data Visualization Tool

Healthcare spending varied widely in the US in 2016, both across and within states. Explore the JPMCI HOSP data asset at the state, metro area, and county level with our interactive data visualization tool.

View Data Visualization of the JPMCI HOSP


Spotlight: Profiles of Local Consumer Commerce

It’s time to use hard data and smart insights to address the complex problems that affect us all.

That’s why we established the JPMorgan Chase Institute.

The JPMorgan Chase Institute aims to help decision makers – policymakers, businesses, and nonprofit leaders – appreciate the scale, granularity, diversity, and interconnectedness of the global economic system and use better facts, timely data and thoughtful analysis to make smarter decisions to advance global prosperity.

Learn more about the JPMorgan Chase Institute