Report: Uncompensated care costs passed to insured

When people can't pay their healthcare bill, the money comes out of the pockets of the insured. Such is the conclusion of a new report from consumer advocacy group Families USA, which says insured persons paid a "hidden health tax" for family and individual coverage of $1,017 and $368 respectively last year.

According to the group, the uninsured received $116 billion in care from doctors, hospitals and other providers in 2008, $42.7 billion of which was never paid for. Providers then raised prices to insurers to cover these costs, and insurers, in turn, charged higher premiums, the group says.

The group's message apparently resonates with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), who said in a written statement that he would attempt to remove this hidden tax through reform legislation.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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