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Private Health Insurance
Purchaser: Employer/Employee and Individual
Program: Private health insurance

Description: Private health insurance is available through employer-sponsored or individually purchased health plans. Private and public sector employers and/or employees may pay premiums to health insurance companies or self-insure. A self-insured health plan is one in which a business or group assumes all risk and pays beneficiary health care costs directly, instead of purchasing coverage from an insurance company or health maintenance organization. This includes federal, state and local employees as well as private employees.

According to Texas Health and Human Services Commission estimates–based on the 1997 Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey–56 percent of Texans were covered by private insurance, compared to almost 62 percent nationwide.

The U.S. Health Care Financing Administration collects national expenditure data for private health insurance and other health spending data. The data includes the amount of premiums paid to private health insurers. It does not include consumer out-of-pocket expenditures.

Assuming that private insurance expenditures per insured Texan approximate those per insured American, Texas employers, employees and individuals spent an estimated $24.7 billion on private health insurance premiums in fiscal 1998.
Texas Total, Fiscal 1998
Amount Spent: $24,700,165,991
Type of Funding: Private

Sources: Carole Keeton Rylander, Texas Comptroller, Health Care Financing Administration, U.S. Census Bureau and Texas Health and Human Services Commission