Missouri Kenneth Thorpe 2003

A Universal Health Care Plan for Missouri

Author: Kenneth E. Thorpe, PhD
Published: 2003
Financed by: Missouri Foundation for Health
Legislation analyzed: none, plan analyzed developed by the author.

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In each case, the savings associated with streamlined administration, a single bill and uniform payment across all plans are greater than the new costs of covering the uninsured and the costs associated with the underinsured upgrading their benefits.

Assuming the universal health care plan adopted a benefit package typically found in the state (Table 1), spending among the uninsured and underinsured would rise by nearly $1.3 billion when fully implemented. On the other hand, the use of a streamlined, single claims and billing form (electronically billed) would reduce overall spending by about $3 billion. As a result, spending on health care would decline by approximately $1.7 billion.

Even if the state adopted a more generous benefit package – one more generous than 75 percent of all private insurance benefits in the state – overall spending would still decline (Table 2). In this case, spending among the uninsured and insured would rise by $1.7 billion, yet administrative costs would still decline by $3 billion. Overall, health care spending would likely decline by $1.3 billion under the streamlined administrative structure.