Dmitri N. Shalin

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The Social Health of Nevada: Leading Indicators and Quality of Life in the Silver State


UNLV: Center for Democratic Culture Publications

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According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM),

  • Approximately 18,000 Americans die prematurely every year, solely because they lack health insurance coverage (Institute of Medicine, 2004).
  • The IOM estimates that the aggregate cost of increased morbidity and mortality due to un-insurance in the U.S. is between $65 billion and $130 billion per year.
  • Costs to the health care system can be measured conservatively in terms of the value of uncompensated care provided to the uninsured, estimated at almost $35 billion in 2001, of which $24 billion was provided by hospitals.

Access to medical care is not a constitutional right in the U.S., except for prison inmates. Due to the prohibitive costs of medical care and prescription drugs, the majority of Americans cannot afford to pay for health care out-of-pocket. Access to health care requires health insurance coverage. The U.S. health insurance system can be divided into two categories, (1) private insurance programs and (2) government insuranceprograms (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005):

Individual coverage can be directly purchased from private health insurance companies. Group coverage is provided by health plans offered by an employer or union. Group coverage is generally less expensive than individual coverage. Often, the employer will subsidize a portion of the health insurance premium and the employee pays the remainder. Private health insurance plans are regulated by state health insurance agencies. Over half of larger businesses in this country have self funded employee health insurance plans that are exempt from state insurance regulation.


Health insurance--Evaluation; Health insurance--Goverment policy--U.S. states; Medicare


Community-Based Research | Immune System Diseases | Medicine and Health | Sociology | Virus Diseases