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PUBLICATIONS > Working Papers > Comparing Costs of Delivering Medical Benefits: Group Health and Workers’s Compensation

Comparing Costs of Delivering Medical Benefits: Group Health and Workers’s Compensation
A principle goal of healthcare reform is extending coverage to the currently uninsured. A major challenge is covering the cost of extending coverage to the currently uninsured. Using detailed data on California workers’ compensation insurance we calculate that the administrative overhead accounts for 50% to 60% of premiums. Integrating occupational medical care into the more efficient group health model would reduce administration to approximately 12% to 13%. We extend these findings to the US and estimate that the 10-year (2011- 2020) savings of integrating coverage would be between $490 billion and $560 billion, sufficient to pay for between 26% and 78% of the incremental cost of universal coverage. The savings result from the much greater efficiency of private health insurance and the one time savings that result from moving from the upfront payment of future liabilities characterizing property & casualty insurance to the pay-as-you-go model of health insurance. For political and practical reasons we acknowledge that integration will likely only be accomplished if near universal health insurance coverage and integration are both part of a legislative package.


Publication file

/pubs/ComparingOverhead_WCvsGH_2009_10_20.pdf

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