Study Says Uninsured Are Costly For All

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

A new report says the average family with health insurance pays an extra $1,000 a year in premiums to pay for health care for uninsured people.

The report by the advocacy group Families USA says the average individual with private coverage pays an extra $370 a year because of such cost-shifting.

The report found that last year, uninsured people received $116 billion in health care from hospitals, doctors and other providers, but only paid 37% of that amount out of their own pockets. Government programs and charities covered another 26%, leaving about $43 billion unpaid. The report says that made its way into higher premiums.

The group calls this a "hidden health tax" and maintains that it's growing. The group says the findings support its goal of extending health care coverage to all the 50 million Americans who are now uninsured.

Congress and the Obama administration are working on a plan to do that.

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