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Journal Article


The Costs and Consequences of Being Uninsured

Lack of health coverage takes an enormous toll on the uninsured—in thousands of avoidable deaths each year, poorly managed chronic conditions, undetected or untreated cancer, and untried lifesaving medical procedures. According to emerging research, being uninsured has multiple economic consequences as well. There are costs for individuals, in terms of poorer quality of life and reduced productivity; for businesses, whose employees miss work or retire early for health reasons; for the health care system, which is burdened by bad debt and inefficient care for the uninsured; and for society at large, which forgoes the economic benefits of a healthy, productive population.

Publication Details



"The Costs and Consequences of Being Uninsured," Karen Davis, Ph.D., Medical Care Research and Review 60, 2 (June 2003)