Report: Health costs of uninsured to soar

June 8, 2005 at 10:04 AM

WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- U.S. employer-provided family health plans, on average, will pay an extra $922 in premiums this year to cover the unpaid expenses of the uninsured.

Families USA, a health consumer organization, in a report released Wednesday also noted this extra premium will rise to $1,502 in 2010.

The report, the first to quantify the cost for the uninsured, said these costs account for $1 out of every $12 spent for employer-provided health insurance.

While the $922 figure is a national average, premiums for family coverage in six states, which have the largest number of uninsured, will be at least $1,500 higher this year.

These states are New Mexico ($1,875), West Virginia ($1,796), Oklahoma ($1,781), Montana ($1,578), Texas ($1,551) and Arkansas ($1,514).

The unpaid cost of healthcare to those without insurance will exceed $43 billion nationally in 2005, the report said.

"The large and increasing number of uninsured Americans is no longer simply an altruistic concern on behalf of those without health coverage but a matter of self-interest for everyone," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA.

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