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Sum of charges made during the year for glasses and contact lenses


For all persons, VSCHGTOT captures the sum of fully established charges for the purchase of glasses and/or contact lenses. This variable does not usually reflect actual payments made for services, which can be substantially lower due to factors such as negotiated discounts, bad debt, and free care. For more information on how MEPS collects expenditure and charge data, please refer to our user note on medical expenditures.


Due to the data collection methodology, it was not possible to determine whether vision items that were reported in Round 3 had been purchased in the first or second year of the longitudinal panel. Therefore, expenses reported in Round 3 were only included in the annual file for a given year if more than half of the person's reference period for the round took place in that year.

Related variables
Variables related to total annual health care charges by source of payment, total annual health care charges by type of medical service, and analogous information for health care expenditures are also available. Please refer to our user note on medical expenditures for a list of these variables.


VSCHGTOT is a 6-digit numeric variable.


This variable is completely comparable over time.


  • 1996-2021: All persons.


  • 1996-2021



This variable has no flags.