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'Hidden Health Tax' for Family Health Care Coverage Climbed to $1,017 in 2008
Date:5/28/2009

The 'Hidden Health Tax' is the Undisclosed Premium Surcharge that Pays for the Uncompensated Health Care Costs of the Uninsured

As More People Join the Ranks of the Uninsured, the 'Hidden Health Tax' Continues to Grow; It is Likely to be Much Higher in 2009

WASHINGTON, May 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The so-called "hidden health tax" for family health care coverage grew to $1,017 in 2008 according to a report released today by the consumer health organization Families USA.

The hidden health tax is the undisclosed insurance premium surcharge, paid by America's businesses and insured families, when they purchase health insurance. That surcharge subsidizes the uncompensated health care costs of the uninsured.

"As more people join the ranks of the uninsured, the hidden health tax is growing," said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA. "That tax hits America's businesses and insured families hard in the pocketbook, and they therefore have a clear financial stake in expanding health care coverage as part of health reform."

"Reforming our health care system is not just a moral imperative -- it's an economic necessity," said Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. "Today 46 million uninsured Americans turn to emergency rooms when they need medical care and the cost of that care is paid for by every American with insurance. As this report shows, that hidden tax will only continue to grow unless we do something about it. That's why I'm committed to passing comprehensive health care reform this year. We must repeal this hidden tax and lift the burden from American families and businesses by ensuring quality, affordable health care for all Americans."

Families USA contracted with Milliman, Inc., a well-respected, independent actuarial consulting firm, to array and analyze the data for the report.

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SOURCE Families USA
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