Hospital Pricing and the Uninsured

Do the Uninsured Pay Higher Prices?

Published In: Health Affairs, v. 27, no. 2, Feb. 5, 2008, p. w116-w122

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Glenn Melnick, Katya Fonkych

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Although the health care pricing literature has grown substantially in recent years, there has been little empirical analysis of how hospital pricing behavior affects the uninsured. The authors use unique data from California to compare actual prices paid by uninsured patients with prices paid by commercial and Medicare patients. The authors find that uninsured patients pay prices similar to those of Medicare patients. Further, they find that despite increased media attention, hospital prices to the uninsured have risen in recent years.

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