NU Online News Service, Jan. 28, 3:45 p.m. – Having health insurance can be a matter of life or death for victims of automobile accidents, according to a study by Joseph Doyle Jr., a labor economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Doyle found that accident victims who lack health insurance receive 20% less treatment in hospitals and are 37% more likely to die of their injuries than victims with health coverage.
Doyle based his study on data collected in Wisconsin. He controlled for factors such as age, accident severity and seat belt use.
Victims of serious accidents almost always end up in the hospital, regardless of their income level or other characteristics. Doyle focused on accident victims in an effort to find a relatively pure example of the value of health insurance, according to a summary of his paper released by MIT.