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Chronic Ills Common Among Adults With Public Insurance: Study

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Nearly two-thirds of adult Americans under age 65 covered by public insurance in 2005-06 had at least one chronic illness, such as heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease, says a U.S. government study.

About 57 percent of people with private insurance and 36 percent of those without insurance had at least one chronic condition, said the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Among the other findings:

* 45 percent of the those with public insurance, 32 percent of those with private insurance, and 17 percent of the uninsured had at least two chronic illnesses.

* Health expenditures for treatment of adults with two or more chronic illnesses averaged $6,455 for those with public insurance, $1,987 for the uninsured, and $3,598 for people with private insurance.
* People with public insurance with two or more chronic illnesses had lower average annual out-of-pocket expenses than those without insurance -- $708 vs. $1,040.
* Among adults with public insurance, chronic diseases accounted for 57 percent of medical care spending, compared with 46 percent for the privately insured, and 47 percent for the uninsured.

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