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Analysis: Uninsured Workers Cost Society Billions

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The U.S. public paid about $45 billion in 2004 to help full-time workers and dependents of full-time workers who have no employer-sponsored health coverage.

Columbia University researchers have published data supporting that estimate in an analysis released by the Commonwealth Fund, New York.

The total includes $33 billion spent on covering full-time workers and dependents through public insurance programs, such as Medicaid, and about $12 billion spent on health care for full-time workers and dependents who had no health coverage, the researchers write.

The number of uninsured, full-time workers and dependents increased to 19 million in 2004, from 16 million in 1999, the researchers report.

The number of full-time workers and dependents in public insurance programs increased to 11 million, from 6 million, the researchers report.

At employers with 100 or more employees, the number of uninsured employees and dependents increased to 5 million in 2004, from 4 million in 1999.


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