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By the Numbers: How Health Insurance Pays Off in the Long Run

Health insurance can feel disconnected at times: why am I paying every month for a plan if I go to the doctor once a year?

While preventative care appointments are important – the real value of health insurance isn’t only in getting a free checkup from the doctor and the security provided for an unforeseen, critical injury. The value of health insurance is also realized during some of the hardest and most defining moments of our lives: when we’re extremely sick or hurt, welcoming a new child or need specialty care.

The numbers speak for themselves.

In Michigan, the average single person with employer health insurance contributed $1,350 per year toward their coverage in 2019, according to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s about 20% of the total cost of that insurance, as the average cost of employer-sponsored health coverage for a single person in Michigan was $6,705 per year in 2019.

Without that insurance, here’s how much an individual would pay out of pocket:

Take the average cost of a medical inpatient admission: $19,672.

That’s equal to 14-and-half-years of the average annual paycheck contribution a single person pays for health insurance in Michigan. For those that have insurance, the average out-of-pocket price for a medical inpatient admission is $950.

For the average surgical admission – $43,810 – that’s equal to 32-and-a-half years of the average a single person pays toward their employer-provided health insurance in Michigan. With health insurance, the average out-of-pocket cost was $949 for the average surgical admission – just 2% of the base price.

At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, nearly 90% of each health insurance premium dollar is spent on providing care. We know our members want the best value in their health care, which is why we offer online cost estimator tools so members can compare the bottom line for medical procedures, services and prescriptions. We’re also working collaboratively with healthcare systems and providers to control costs while increasing the quality of care.

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