Hawaii’s Growing Uninsured Population
$24M in Aid a Big Boost for Hospitals
Honolulu Advertiser, October 28, 2006
Hawai`i Uninsured Project’s
4th Annual Health Policy Forum
Monday, October 23, 2006
Download the presentations:
Why Not the Best?
A High Performance Health System in Hawaii
Anne Gauthier, Senior Policy Director
The Commonwealth Fund
Opportunities and Challenges: Mapping the Future
Joseph W. Thompson, MD, MPH
Surgeon General, State of Arkansas,
Director, Arkansas Center for Health Improvement
In the 1980s, Hawaii’s uninsured population was estimated at 5 percent, and the state was credited as having the lowest uninsured rate in the U.S.
By the late 1990s, the uninsured rate increased to 8 percent. In 2001, the number had grown to nearly 10 percent – about 120,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.
The problem is larger than the 120,000 who are directly affected.
In 2002, Hawaii’s hospitals lost an estimated $95 million due to uncompensated care. Hospitals and community clinics shoulder the burden of providing care with little or no reimbursement, while businesses and individuals are affected with higher insurance premiums.