Thursday, July 2, 2009

Increase in Family Portion of Uncompensated Care

According to a report released by Families USA, the uncompensated care portion grew for families to $1,017 in 2008. What this means is it takes this much money per family to provide health care for those in our country who have no insurance. Part of this issue is the fact that people who have no insurance are less likely to get care when they need it and are more likely to delay getting care at all. This adds to the issues that may have easily been treated very simply and inexpensively. When the uninsured do get care there are several ways it is paid for. Approximately 37% is paid for by the uninsured themselves out of their own pockets. Another 26% gets paid for by charities,government programs and other third parties. The remaining 37% gets passed on to the health care bills of the insured and ends up as surcharges resulting in higher premiums. With the economic downturn continuing it is estimated more people will lose their jobs during the later half of 2009 driving the uncompensated care portion higher still for families in the United States. In Texas, we must consider the high number of children that fall among the uninsured. Young people who grow up either uninsured or under insured could push the state's budget to the breaking point. There are no easy answers. What there are is plenty of children in need of some sort of health care option to provide them the foundation they need to grow into strong and healthy adults.

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