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Employers, Employees Pay Uninsured Health Costs: Report

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The “hidden health tax” on family health coverage grew to $1,017 in 2008, according to a report by Families USA.

Families USA, Washington, D.C., combined with the actuarial firm Milliman, Inc. to conduct and analyze a study of uninsured health care costs.

This tax is an undisclosed insurance premium paid by American businesses and insured families upon purchasing health insurance. It represents the amount they subsidize of uncompensated costs for healthcare of the uninsured.

The uninsured pay for 37% of their healthcare with their own money. Charities, government programs, and other sources pay 27%, while the rest, $42.7 billion in 2008, is considered uncompensated and shifted onto healthcare bills of the insured, says Families USA.

In addition to the cost per insured family of $1,017, the cost per insured person was $368.

These numbers were up from a similar 2005 study, which found the cost per family was $922 and $341 per individual.

The report’s data was based on the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey from the federal Agency for Health Care Quality and Research and other sources.


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