- Report Published -
|Options to Extend Health Insurance Coverage to Virginia's Uninsured Population|
|Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission|
|HJR 158 (Regular Session, 2006)|
|[The electronic version of the report was replaced by JLARC on 3/21/07.]|
House Joint Resolution 158 (2006) directed JLARC to analyze the number and demographics of Virginia's uninsured population, assess the costs incurred from treating the uninsured, and present options for extending health insurance coverage to Virginians who are currently uninsured.
Between nine and 16 percent of Virginians were uninsured in 2005. Low-income Virginians represented 60 percent of the uninsured, and more than 80 percent of the uninsured lived in households with at least one employed person.
In 2005, an estimated $1.45 billion of care for the uninsured was uncompensated, with health care providers donating between $536 and $538 million to uninsured patients.
While multiple policy options are available to address various segments of the uninsured population, the State may want to focus on options that provide financial assistance to low-income Virginians, given the gap between the cost of insurance and their available resources. Four options that would likely be most cost effective to the State are (1) an employer incentive, (2) a Medicaid expansion to parents up to the federal poverty level, (3) small employer subsidies, or (4) a State reinsurance program for small employers.