This study, funded by the Maine Health Access Foundation, presented alternative estimates of the costs of health care that uninsured Maine residents receive and determined how much public revenue was available to offset those costs. Using data from health care providers, the study estimated that the costs of caring for the uninsured in Maine were $138 million in 2005, with hospitals and Veterans' Affairs facilities identified as the largest providers. Estimates based on household survey data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey showed that uncompensated care costs for the uninsured were only $81 million in 2005. The report discusses possible reasons for the large discrepancy between these two sources. Our review of federal and state funding sources in 2005 suggests there were roughly $110 million available to offset these costs of caring for the uninsured.
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