New research by the Kaiser Family Foundation find Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket health care costs comprise a significant share of their household expenses and consume a growing share of their incomes over time.

Kaiser’s report, “Health Care on a Budget,”finds that in 2006, out-of-pocket health care spending accounted for 14% of all expenditures for Medicare households-less than housing (34%) but about the same as transportation (15%) and food (13.6%).

Medicare provides coverage for 45 million seniors and younger Americans with permanent disabilities, Kaiser notes.