AHRQ Data Helps HRSA Determine Costs of People Injured By Vaccines

October 2007

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), which is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, used Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data to develop a new methodology for calculating the average cost of a health insurance policy.

This new methodology used MEPS-Insurance Component data to determine the baseline for calculating the average cost of a health insurance policy. The baseline amount was adjusted using percentage changes reported by the "Employer Health Benefits" annual survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Education Trust (KFF/HRET). Based on the MEPS-Insurance Component data and the percentage change data, the amount of a health insurance policy in 2006 to be deducted from future lost earnings was determined to be $363.12 per month.

The VICP provides compensation to individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines. For an injury, individuals may be awarded compensation for a reasonable amount of past and future nonreimbursable medical, custodial care, and rehabilitation costs, and related expenses, up to $250,000 for actual and projected pain and suffering, and/or reasonable attorneys' fees and costs if certain minimal requirements are met.

In addition, injured individuals may receive compensation for future lost earnings, less appropriate taxes and the average cost of a health insurance policy. Use of the new methodology is estimated to increase the annual total amount of awards by $50,000.

The average cost of a health insurance policy will be recalculated annually using new baseline MEPS-Insurance Component data in combination with the KFF/HRET survey.

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
AHRQ Product(s): Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)
Topics(s): Policy, Data, Prevention
Geographic Location: National
Implementer: Health Resources and Services Administration
Date: 10/01/2007
Page last reviewed October 2014