Washington Uninsured Rate to Reach 1M by End of 2011

The number of Washington state residents without health insurance has climbed dramatically since the end of 2008 and is predicted to reach 1 million by the end of 2011, according to a Seattle Times report.

Around 14.5 percent of Washington residents have no coverage, and many of them lack the necessary coverage for their medical needs, according to the report. The percentage of uninsured people has grown in 31 out of 39 Washington counties.

When hospitals take on charity cases and write-off bad debt, those losses are passed on to insurance holders, adding approximately $1,017 to an average family's annual premium, according to the report. Hospitals and healthcare providers in Washington are currently spending around $1 billion per year on uncompensated care, which includes a 36 percent increase in charity care costs from 2008-2010.

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