Health Costs

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Double Jeopardy: Low Wage Workers at Risk for Health and Financial Implications of COVID-19

This brief analyzes data on low-wage workers in the context of COVID-19 and discusses the implications of the pandemic for their jobs, health, and financial security.

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Interactive Maps Highlight Urban-Rural Differences in Hospital Bed Capacity

As the U.S. coronavirus outbreak spreads beyond densely populated metropolitan areas, a new KFF analysis finds that rural areas typically have fewer intensive care hospital resources than their urban counterparts, and populations at greater risk of developing serious illness and complications from COVID-19. While metro and non-metro areas have similar numbers of…

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Urban and Rural Differences in Coronavirus Pandemic Preparedness

The coronavirus outbreak has hit densely populated urban areas of the United States first and hardest. Some health systems have experienced surges of patients, raising concerns that there are not enough hospital beds, staffing, and equipment. The novel coronavirus was slower to spread to rural areas in the U.S., but…

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How Much More Than Medicare Do Private Insurers Pay? A Review of the Literature

This brief reviews findings from recent studies that compare Medicare and private health insurance payment rates for both hospital and physician services.

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How Health Costs Might Change with COVID-19

As the coronavirus spreads rapidly across the United States, private health insurers and government health programs could potentially be burdened with higher health care costs. However, the extent to which costs grow, and how the burden is distributed across payers, programs, individuals, and geography are still very much unknown. A…

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Analysis Estimates Up To 2 Million Uninsured People Could Require COVID-19 Hospitalization

Patients Could Still Be on the Hook for Outpatient Costs, Costs If They Test Negative, and Cost Sharing A new KFF analysis estimates that between 670,000 and 2 million uninsured people around the country eventually could be hospitalized with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Reimbursing hospitals…

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Estimated Cost of Treating the Uninsured Hospitalized with COVID-19

This brief estimates the total amount that will be spent to reimburse hospitals for care for the uninsured with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

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Long-Term Trends in Employer-Based Coverage

As the economic consequences of COVID-19 continue to play out, many households may lose access to employer sponsored coverage. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates a record number of jobless claims, suggesting a marked increase in unemployment over the next couple of months and potentially longer. Our…

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Why the U.S. Doesn’t Have More Hospital Beds

With much of the news focused on the surge capacity of the nation’s hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, Drew Altman’s Axios column examines why the nation has a shortage of hospital beds and what can be done about it.

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How Prepared is the U.S. to Respond to COVID-19 Relative to Other Countries?

Compared to most similarly large and wealthy countries, the U.S. has fewer practicing physicians per capita but has a similar number of licensed nurses per capita. Looking specifically at the hospital setting, the U.S. has more hospital-based employees per capita than most other comparable countries, but nearly half of these hospital workers are non-clinical staff.

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