NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

HIAA Estimates Increase In Uninsured Due To Patients' Bill Of Rights

July 19, 2001

The Senate having passed a version of the so-called Patients' Bill of Rights, legislative action now moves to the House of Representatives, which is considering its own "patient protection" bill. The version closest to the Senate bill is called Dingell-Ganske-Norwood, after its principal sponsors.

According to an actuarial analysis by the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA) the bill would substantially increase the number of Americans without health insurance.

  • The main reason, according to HIAA, is that the number of employers offering health insurance coverage in 2003 likely would decrease by a conservatively estimated 5 percent, compared to the number of employers likely to offer coverage in 2002.
  • Some 6.5 million Americans would lose their employer-sponsored health insurance.
  • Of these, 3.7 million would become uninsured, while many of the remaining 2.8 million would likely enroll in public programs, such as Medicaid or a state Child Health Insurance Program ("S-CHIP") -- thereby increasing costs to taxpayers.

The 6.5 million would be added to the 42 million Americans who have no health insurance or are not covered by public plans. The most severely affected would be low-income workers and their families:

  • Nearly half (46 percent) of employees with incomes under 200 percent of the federal poverty level working for employers who drop coverage would become uninsured, while only 7 percent of these workers would retain private coverage.
  • Seven of every 10 newly uninsured will have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Furthermore, nearly two out of five (37 percent) employees with incomes greater than 200 percent of the federal poverty level working for employers who drop coverage would lose their health insurance.

Source: "A State-by-State Analysis of the Newly Uninsured," Health Insurance Association of America, July 18, 2001.


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