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How much do the uninsured cost the insured?

May 28, 2009 |  9:54 am

The question refers specifically to the amount passed along via healthcare premiums, not less tangible factors. And the answer is: $1,017 a year for family coverage and $368 for an individual policy.

Those are the figures in a new report from healthcare advocacy group Families USA. The introduction states:

"As the number of Americans without health insurance continues to rise, so too do the costs borne by those who have coverage, who face what might be called a 'hidden health tax.' Private health insurance premiums are higher, at least in part, because uninsured people who receive health care often cannot afford to pay the full amount themselves. The costs of this uncompensated care are shifted to those who have insurance, ultimately resulting in higher insurance premiums for businesses and families."

That's not to say the uninsured are gleefully living it up. The report says that the uninsured directly pay for more than 37% of the total costs of their care. Government, charities and other third-party sources pay for another 26%. The rest is uncompensated care.

Those are the costs eventually handed off to families and businesses in the form of higher premiums. See the numbers above.

-- Tami Dennis

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Comments (3)

Interesting break down of who bears the costs. It's similar to this study that shows the cost of kids losing health insurance ($2000 each):

Even if you do have insurances.Many Physicans and other healthcare providers are opting out of taking any insurances.Due to the reimbursement "Reasonable and customary" are so low its laughable.Or there are some physicans taking no nyew patients they are way over worked and they don't care what insurances you have PPO,HMO,Medicare or cash pay.

The uninsured are forced to pay the full amount billed while the insured and medicaid covered agencies refuse to pay the full amount billed. This report is inaccurate. Insurance companies have the power to refuse to pay billed amounts while the uninsured are powerless and face loss of their homes. The plain truth is that the uninsured are forced to take up the slack of the insured by the hospitals.


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