Almost 4 Of 10 Uninsured Households Make > $50k Per Year. What's Wrong With Being Self-Insured?
According to this Census Bureau report "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007" (most recent data available), there were 45.6 million uninsured Americans in 2007. The chart above shows the household income levels of those 45.6 million uninsured Americans.
There are 9.1 million uninsured Americans living in households making $75,000 per year or more, and this represents about 20% of the total number of uninsured. There are 8.5 million Americans without health insurance in households making between $50,000 and $75,000, representing 31.8% of the uninsured. With those two groups combined, 38.6% of Americans without health insurance (17.6 million people) lived in households with $50,000 or more of household income in 2007.
According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, the average annual total premium cost was $4,479 ($373 per month) for single coverage and $12,106 for family coverage ($1,008 per month).
Q: With $50,000 or more in household income, wouldn't many or most of those 17.6 million uninsured households be without insurance voluntarily? That is, couldn't most of those households afford health insurance?
Alternatively, with those income levels (especially the 9 million with income above $75,000), couldn't many of those households choose to forego health insurance in favor of being "self-insured," at least for routine health procedures? Given the widespread availability of more than a thousand convenient and affordable retail health clinics around the country at Wal-Marts, Meijers, CVSs and Walgreens, these households could easily be on the "pay-as-you-go" model of self-insurance for health care.