Common Sports Injuries: Incidence and Average Charges. Conclusion

03/17/2014

While health benefits are derived from sports and recreational activities, there are also risks, including sports-related injuries. These injuries range from minor sprains and strains to more serious injuries such as broken bones and concussions. The direct medical bills resulting from sports injuries are substantial. The costs could be a heavy burden for individuals without health insurance coverage, who would not only lack protection against out-of-pocket costs but could also be forced to pay providers’ full stated charges, rather than the discounted prices generally offered to those with insurance.

The incidence and expenses associated with common sports injuries demonstrate that even healthy and active adults can experience unanticipated and unaffordable health care costs. Fortunately, health care coverage is available at https://www.healthcare.gov/ and many uninsured Americans qualify for financial help paying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.6

Table 1: Average Charges for Selected Injuries, by Age Category


Table 1: Average Charges for Selected Injuries, by Age Category

Type of Injury10-19 year olds, $25-40 year olds, $
Fracture of Leg4,6893,403
Fracture of Arm2,8717,666
Sprains and Strains2,2943,175
Dislocation6,9424,575

Data Source: 2009-2011 Pooled Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Full Year Consolidated, Events, and Medical Conditions files.

Note: These are examples of medical charges that people without health insurance may face for such services.


6 Laura Skopec and Emily Gee, Fifty-Six Percent of the Uninsured Could Pay $100 or Less Per Month for Coverage in 2014, ASPE Issue Brief, September 2013 (http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/Uninsured/ib_uninsured.cfm); Laura Skopec and Emily R. Gee, Nearly 5 in 10 Uninsured Single Young Adults Eligible for the Health Insurance Marketplace Could Pay $50 or Less Per month for Coverage in 2014, ASPE Research Brief, October 2013 (http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/UninsuredYoungAdults/rb_uninsuredyoungadults.cfm); Emily R. Gee, Eligible Uninsured African Americans: 6 in 10 Could Receive Health Insurance Marketplace Tax Credits, Medicaid or CHIP, ASPE Issue Brief, December 2013 (http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/UninsuredAfricanAmericans/ib_UninsuredAfricanAmericans.cfm); Emily R. Gee, Eligible Uninsured Latinos: 8 in 10 Could Receive Health Insurance Marketplace Tax Credits, Medicaid Or CHIP, ASPE Research Brief, February 11, 2014 (http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/UninsuredLatinos/rb_uninsuredLatinos.pdf).

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