Who Will Pay The Tab For Uncompensated Care Under The Health Law?
News outlets take a look at Health Affairs studies that examine issues related to uncompensated care in the health law's changing environment as well as whether illegal immigration leads to health care overuse.
The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: Health Care’s $85 Billion Challenge -- Uncompensated Care In The Obamacare Age
A Monday morning survey showed a steady decrease in the uninsured rate since Obamacare's insurance marketplaces opened, but tens of millions will remain uninsured. And a separate study Monday showed just how much it could cost to care for them. Health-care providers faced $74.9 billion to $84.9 billion in care costs for the uninsured and people who struggled to pay their medical bills, according to new estimates published in the journal Health Affairs. Using the lower of the two estimates, Urban Institute researchers calculated that hospitals provided $44.6 billion of the uncompensated care, publicly supported community providers delivered $19.8 billion, and office-based physicians provided about $10.8 billion (Millman, 5/5).
In other news about cost and utilization --
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Study: Illegal Immigration Doesn’t Cause Overuse Of Health Care
Even before the Affordable Care Act was close to passing, it was clear that immigrants illegally living in the country would not be part of many of the law’s benefits. They are not allowed to buy health insurance from the online marketplaces, at least in part because opponents argued that these immigrants overburden emergency rooms and hospitals. But a study released Monday finds that they’re less likely to use health services than U.S. citizens and other immigrants here legally (Evans, 5/5).