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

Blues Perspectives

| 2 min read

Woman smiling and holding bill in front of laptop
As a family budget expense, 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 checkup from the doctor.
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, need specialty care or in response to expensive treatment for an unforeseen, critical injury.
The numbers speak for themselves. In Michigan, the average single person with employer health insurance contributed $1,614 per year toward their coverage in 2021, 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 $7,204 per year in 2021. Without that insurance, here’s how much an individual would pay out of pocket:
Take the average cost of a medical inpatient admission: $21,295. That’s equal to 13 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 $933 – just 4% of the base price.
For the average surgical admission – $47,345 – that’s equal to 29 years of the average a single person pays toward their employer-provided health insurance in Michigan.
At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, nearly 90 cents of each health insurance premium dollar is spent on providing care. In fact, BCBSM pays an average of $80 million per day – every day of the year – for the care and benefits we provide to members.
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.
Photo credit: fizkes
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association