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Hospitalizing the Unvaccinated Has Cost U.S. Nearly $6 Billion

By Cara MurezHealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The cost of providing hospital care for unvaccinated Americans has reached $5.7 billion in just three months, CBS News reported.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Peterson Center on Healthcare data, approximately 287,000 Americans were admitted to the United States for COVID-19 between June and August. These numbers were compiled from data that was shared by the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Peterson Center on Healthcare. The collaboration involved tracking health care quality and costs.

Most adults in the United States have had access to vaccines since the spring, so these hospital stays could likely have been avoided, the study authors noted.

In the new report, the KFF-Peterson team used data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to estimate the average cost of hospitalization with COVID-19 at $20,000 per person. After calculating the total expense, they came up with $5.7 billion.

The authors stated that this figure was likely to underestimate the costs of COVID-19 preventable treatment among adults who have not been vaccinated. They also noted that outpatient expenses aren't included in the analysis.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people who have not been vaccinated are eleven times more likely than those who were fully vaccinated to succumb to COVID-19.

The study also considered the fact that vaccines can prevent severe illnesses and hospitalizations, as well as breakthrough infections among fully-vaccinated individuals.

According to the report's authors, the cost of COVID-19-related health care is not just borne by the patients, but by the society at large, which includes taxpayer-funded programs as well as private insurance premiums that are paid by employees, employers, and individuals.

These shared costs – for copays, coinsurance or payments toward a deductible – have not always been passed on to the patient, but they soon could be.

According to the report, almost 90% of individuals insured would have their out-of pocket costs waived if they were admitted for COVID-19. More than 70% of large insurers do not waive treatment costs. Another 10% will phase out cost-sharing by the end of next month, CBS News reported.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.