56 Million Nonelderly Americans To Lack Health Coverage by 2013, Study Says

April 5, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Without changes to national health care policy, the number of nonelderly Americans who are uninsured will climb to 56 million by 2013, a 11 million increase from 2003.

These are the results of a new study released by University of California (San Diego) researchers Todd Gilmer and Richard Kronick. With the cost of health care rising at a rate far above the rate of change for annual income, the researchers project that more Americans will choose to not purchase coverage in the future.

The researchers believe the total number of nonelderly Americans will be 271 million in 2013; 56 million, they believe, will be without coverage.

Going forward, Gilmer and Kronick believe that per capita health spending will outpace median personal income by 2.8% per year (7.4% for health, 4.6% for income), which will result in fewer Americans purchasing coverage. This gap is not as bad as it was in 1999-2002, when the gap was 9.8% for health and 2.2% for income, but the researchers still expect to see the number of uninsured increase going forward.

In their study, Gilmer and Kronick claim that other factors, such as employment trends and demographic shifts, do not have a significant effect on coverage, unlike price. They claim that the shift away from manufacturing jobs and the increase in the number of Hispanics in the country from 1987 to 2002 should have actually raised coverage by 0.5%. However, a decrease of insured Americans by 6.2% signals that other factors – namely, cost – are to blame.

The study also predicts that the increase in annual deaths due to 11 million people becoming uncovered from 2003 until 2013 will be 4,500.

For a copy of the study, please see here .