Hospital Pricing and the Uninsured: Do the Uninsured Pay Higher Prices?

Health Affairs-February 5, 2008
Vol. 27, No. 2
February 5, 2008
Melnick, G. and K. Fonkych
pp. w116-22

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. We use unique data from California to compare actual prices paid by uninsured patients with prices paid by commercial and Medicare patients. We find that uninsured patients pay prices similar to those of Medicare patients. Further, we find that despite increased media attention, hospital prices to the uninsured have risen in recent years.

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