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Health Insurance Statistics

When was the last time you gave any thought to health insurance statistics?  These days health insurance seems to be the number one thing on the minds of politicians.  That’s surprising when you consider that, according to the CDC’s statistics that say there are around 47 million people (the Census Bureau claims that number is 43.3 million) without health insurance and the United States spent 2.3 trillion dollars last year on health care. 

This is more than other industrialized nations that provide health care for all their citizens. You can use these health insurance statistics to plan your own coverage or to compare you rates to those around the nation.

When you are finished reading this article why not make sure that you don’t end up a health insurance statistic and find yourself unprotected without adequate health insurance coverage? Use our free quote comparison tool at the top of the page and you can compare quotes from top insurance companies and agents side by side in order the find a cheap health insurance plan!

Health Insurance Statistics From 2006

Statistics from 2006 are the most recent that are available from both the CDC and the Census Bureau.

  • Statistics show that 59.7% of people had health insurance provided as part of their employee benefits package.

  • 27% of people had government health insurance (Medicare, Medicaid).

  • 15.8% of people had no health insurance.

Naturally these statistics can be broken down farther by race and economic status.  The bottom line is the same, no matter how you look at it.  Those people in higher income brackets were more likely to have private health insurance while the majority of those in lower income brackets cited high cost as the reason they have a government health insurance plan such as Medicaid or no health insurance at all.

Health insurance costs are rising with the average premium increase in the last year being 6.1%.  This rise has caused .3% of employers to drop medical as an offered benefit or raise the out of pocket costs that the employee has to contribute.

The number of people enrolled in government health insurance programs has dropped slightly.  While that looks promising, at least on paper, the reality is the number of un-insured has gone up just over 1% in the last year. 

The average price tag for insurance for a family of four is between $12,000 and $15,000.  While that looks steep, especially for those in the lowest income brackets, not having health insurance is often even more costly.

Health Insurance Statistics For Those Lacking Coverage

For those people who are relatively healthy and rarely have a reason to visit the doctor, not having health insurance may not seem like a big deal.  However, looking at the big picture, there is still a price to be paid.

Individuals without health insurance are more likely to use the emergency room for general illnesses that would be better suited to a doctor’s office.  This is partially responsible for the escalation in the cost of health care for everyone.  Hospitals are not allowed to turn anyone away for being able to pay for their care.  Those unpaid medical bills come out of the tax payers pockets.

Consider also that 50% of all the people who file bankruptcy do so because of excess medical bills that add up to over $12,000.  Yes, that is the same cost of a health insurance premium for a family of four.  What is even more frightening than that number is that 60% of these people had health insurance. 

So, how did 60% of these people end up filing bankruptcy because of medical bills if they had health insurance?  Chances are that they didn’t have a true comprehensive major medical plan or the proper health insurance for their needs. Be sure that when you search for a health insurance plan for your family that you only compare plans from reputable and proven insurance companies like United Healthcare, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, etc.

Assume that a family of four, to keep down premium costs, elected to have a high deductible, say $2,000 a person (not $2,000 for the entire family).  That potentially gives them $8,000 in medical bills for the year on top of their premium and deductibles.  However, assume that that same family decides that they can do without health insurance coverage and God forbid, someone is hit with a large medical bill from a broken leg, surgery, or cancer. It is not unimaginable for the medical bills to accumulate to $50,000 or even more without adequate health insurance coverage. When you think about this scenario then the maximum out of pocket cost on a plan of $8,000 sounds quite attractive.

Health Insurance Statistics: Average Health Care Costs

Medical bills add up quickly and easily when you aren’t looking.  Depending on where you live a:

  • Trip to the emergency room alone averages between $560 and $1,250. 

  • Colonoscopy is about $2,000.

  • Cancer treatment averages $33,248.

  • Labor and delivery hospital charges, about $7,000 (natural) to $14,000 (for an emergency c-section). 

A health insurance plan without a maternity rider can quickly put you into debt with the average OB appointment costing $90 an appointment (consider an uneventful pregnancy that adds up to $1,080), an ultrasound costing at about $300, lab work another $200.

Health insurance premiums may be high, but it can be much more costly not to have health insurance.

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