Researchers with the Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, have released a plan to provide essential healthcare services to virtually all uninsured Americans for about $2,000 per person per year.
The plan is based on the experiences of advanced-practice nurses in the city and relies on disease management programs, preventive care and evidence-based medicine to achieve cost constraints.
The October/November issue of Nursing Economics outlines the plan in the article "Essential Health Care: Affordable for All?"
Based on 2003 data, premiums under the plan would run $172 a month, and out-of-pocket expenses would be capped at $1,500, excluding drug copays. To cover 43 million uninsured Americans, the national tab would be $89 billion for premiums, which could be borne by public, private or employer subsidies or self-pay.
In contrast, a survey of employers released by consultant Towers Perrin earlier this month projected employer health insurance costs will rise an average of 8% in 2005 with the total cost of care for an employee in a company-sponsored plan to reach $7,761.