Nearly three in 10 adults in the United States have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. Although the toll on public health has been well-documented, increased hospitalizations also are also costing taxpayer-funded public insurance programs and workers and businesses who pay health insurance premiums.
Although real-time data on the cost of all COVID-19 hospitalizations are not publicly available, various sources point to an average hospitalization cost of around $20,000.
There were 37,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations in June and another 76,000 preventable hospitalizations in July among unvaccinated adults in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“If each of these preventable hospitalizations cost roughly $20,000, on average, that would mean these largely avoidable hospitalizations have already cost the U.S. health system billions of dollars since the beginning of June,” the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker reported.
“Based on our estimates, we find preventable COVID-19 cost the U.S. health system $2.3 billion in June and July 2021,” the research partners said.
The cost of treating unvaccinated Americans is shared by patients, taxpayer-funded public programs and private insurance premiums paid by workers, businesses and individual purchasers.