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Uninsured Will Pay $30 Billion For Care In 2008: Study

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The uninsured will spend $30 billion out of their own pockets for health care this year while receiving $56 billion in uncompensated care, a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds.

About 75% of their uncompensated care will come from government sources, according to the study by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, published in Health Affairs. The article was written by researchers from George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., and the Urban Institute, Washington.

If all the uninsured were covered by insurance, total costs would increase by $123 billion dollars, or an additional 5%, the study concludes. The analysis does not assess how much a universal coverage plan would cost the government, which would vary depending on the details of the approach, according to the authors.

People who are uninsured for a full year receive less than half as much care as the insured and pay 35% ($583) out of pocket towards average health costs of $1,686 per uninsured person, the article says.


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