Article: “Medical bills can mount for shooting victims”

There is a nice article “Even with health insurance, medical bills can mount for shooting victims,” on by Lisa Shidler. It talks about the $2.4 million for treating the people wounded in the Gabrielle Giffords incident and a number of other subjects. Actually, after negotiations with insurance companies the amount to be paid will be reduced to an estimated $565,000 or $43,462 for each of the 13 wounded persons.

The article links to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation which has a table of costs for gun violence which gives a lot of interesting figures. Of interest to this blog is the average medical cost $49,947 for the medical expenses of each hospital admitted non-fatally injured person. Costs are much lower, $1,146, for persons treated in the ER only. It also gives total medical costs for firearm injuries at $2.88 Billion for 2010 of which almost exactly one half is paid by Medicare or Medicaid. To put it into scale, the total medical costs for firearm injuries is about $10.00 per year for each of the 270 million guns in private hands in the US.

Loss of worktime, which is covered by Personal Injury Protection for motor vehicles in most no-fault states, is about twice as much as the direct medical costs.

Insurance coverage for firearms victims is important in order to insure that the care is actually delivered. These figures show that the overall costs need not be a big burden to gun owners.

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