Health Care Insurance Costs

(9/29/14)- The number of uninsured Americans fell to 41 million people in the first quarter of this year compared to 44.8 million in the first quarter of 2013, according to a survey contained in the National Health Interview Survey (NIHS), a nationally representative examination that is considered to be the gold standard by researchers.

The survey interviewed about 27,000 people, with this finding being in line with a study conducted by the Gallup organization of 45,000 individuals.

There was an even sharper drop that occurred in states that were part of the expanded Medicaid program. The share of uninsured among 18-to-65-year olds fell by nearly 3 percentage points to 15.7% in the first quarter in these states, versus the 1 percentage point drop to 21.5% in states that did not have the expanded program.

The nationís uninsured stood at about 13.1% at the time of the survey, from about 16% in 2006, which was the high point for uninsured since the NHIS began doing the surveys in 1997.That number stood at 14.4% in 2013

(10/6/12)- People who do not have health insurance are less likely to see a doctor, and as a result may be subjecting themselves to more costly treatment in the long run. Health care benefits through employees are costing more through higher premiums and higher deductibles.

A recently released report from the Census Bureau indicated that Americans aged 18 to 64 made an average of 3.9 visits in 2010 to doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, down from 4.7 visits in 2001.

The report was based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation, a long-running survey of more than 80,000 households.

The share of working-age Americans without health insurance was 21.8% in 2010, according to the Census Bureau, up from 17% in 2001. This figure will drop, since the Affordable Care Act extends coverage to children up to 26 under their parent's health care coverage plan.

Only 24% of the uninsured went to a doctor at least once in 2010, compared with 72% of the general population of working age adults.

(2/2/12)- A recent study done by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that does research on health policy issues, found that total health care insurance premiums for workers and their employers had risen by 50% from 2003 to 2010 to nearly $14,000.

Employees share of the premium came to almost $3,700 for family plan membership, up from roughly $2,300 in 2003. On top of the increased premium, the average family deductible that is the responsibility of the worker before the insurance kicks in, nearly doubled during this period of time to almost $2,000.

Complicating matters even further, and also increasing the expense that must be paid by the employee is the fact that more and more doctors and medical professionals may not be in the "network" for the plan. This deductible is separate and apart from the deductible that must be met by an out-of-pocket expenditure by the worker and his family.


Allan Rubin
updated September 29, 2014 

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