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New England Journal of Medicine: The Value of Health Insurance through Price Discounts


"As context for the ongoing health care reform debate, we analyzed Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) data. HCCI is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization aimed at providing complete and accurate information about health care utilization and costs in the United States.

Our goal was to demonstrate the value of insurance through these discounted rates. We did so by calculating median billed charges for inpatient hospital stays and the median percent of billed charges paid with private insurance. (This percentage includes the portion that both the insurer pays and the insured individual pays through cost-sharing arrangements such as coinsurance and deductibles).

We used HCCI's 2014 employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) administrative claims, which includes data from three large national private insurers that represent about 25% of the ESI membership in the United States."

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