Providing health coverage for all U.S. children would be comparatively inexpensive, researchers contend.
Vivian Ho and Marah Short, health economics experts at Rice University’s Baker Institute, look at the cost of covering children in an analysis based on a review of earlier medical and social science studies.
“The study indicates that if a plan to insure all individuals in the U.S. or all children is introduced, the incremental cost of covering each child is relatively small,” Ho says in a discussion of the analysis.
The lifetime value of health capital lost due to a child lacking health insurance is $15,572 per male and $11,646 per female, the researchers report.
The cost of providing health insurance for each uninsured child through age 18 is $7,451, the researchers estimate.
The total cost of providing health insurance for all children would be about $9.6 billion, a relatively small number in comparison to the $113 billion required to cover uninsured adults and the $2.4 trillion national health expenditure total, Ho and Short write.