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The Atlantic

The platinum patients

June 16, 2017 | Society

If you’re like the average American, you spend around $1,000 per year on health expenses. You likely don’t often have to think about your deductibles and itemized health care costs.

But what if you get an appendicitis and need emergency surgery? Once the pain clears and you return home, the hospital bills begin to arrive—and they’re pricey. At the end of the year, your health care expenses end up totalling $20,000, including the amount your insurance company paid. This puts you far above the national average of $912 per year.

But where do you stack up compared to the rest of the U.S.? Let’s add a dot for every 2 million people in the country. With that hefty bill, you’re near the upper end of the spectrum. Compare that to the big clump on the left: Most Americans pay very little each year.