Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Health Affairs


Health Care Costs


One out of six Americans under age sixty-five lacks health insurance, a situation that imposes sizable hidden costs upon society. The poorer health and shorter lives of those without coverage account for most of these costs. Other impacts are manifested by Medicare and disability support payments, demands on the public health infrastructure, and losses of local health service capacity. We conclude that the estimated value of health forgone each year because of uninsurance ($65?$130 billion) constitutes a lower-bound estimate of economic losses resulting from the present level of uninsurance nationally.

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


Included in

Health Policy Commons



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