Private health insurance plans in 1978 and 1979: a review of coverage, enrollment, and financial experience.
Carroll, Marjorie S
Date of Pub
Arnett 3d, Ross H
The private health insurance industry collected $55.9 billion in premiums in 1979 and returned $50.2 billion in benefits to
its subscribers. Premiums rose 12.4 percent, slightly faster than in 1978 when premiums rose 11.4 percent, to $49.7 billion.
Benefits rose 11.4 percent in 1979, down from the 12.6 rate in 1978. After operating expenses were deducted, the industry
showed underwriting losses of $1.4 billion in 1979 and $1.5 billion in 1978. About 78 percent of the population was insured
for hospital care, 76 percent for x-ray and laboratory examinations, and about 76 percent for surgical services in 1979. Smaller
percentages had coverage for other types of care. An estimated 64 percent of the aged bought private hospital insurance, and
about 43 percent bought surgical insurance, mostly to supplement Medicare benefits. An estimated 12 percent of persons under
age 65 had no protection against the cost of hospital care either through private insurance or a public program such as Medicare
Insurance Benefits : Insurance Carriers/economics : Insurance, Health/economics : Insurance/economics : United States