Title

Public and private health insurance: Stacking up the costs

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

7-2008

Journal

Health Affairs

Volume

Volume 27, Issue 4

Inclusive Pages

w318-327

Keywords

Financing, Government; Insurance, Health--economics; Reimbursement Mechanisms; Medicaid & SCHIP; Health Care Costs

Abstract

Some proposals to expand health insurance coverage for people with low incomes are based on expansions of public programs, such as Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), while others rely on the use of tax subsidies for individuals to purchase private insurance. Analyses of data from the 2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey indicate that total medical spending is much lower when coverage is provided by Medicaid or SCHIP than it is when coverage is provided by private insurance. Public insurance is particularly advantageous from the consumer’s perspective because associated out-of-pocket spending is far lower.

Peer Reviewed

1