Dropouts Are Driving Up Medicaid Costs

A new study adds further clout to the idea that dropouts are a national problem, not a personal one—because they cost the medical system money.

Wealthy people are healthy people, more or less. They have the money to pay for health insurance, and get better medicine, and more frequent treatment.

High school dropouts rarely achieve the kind of success that makes them wealthy. They earn less over the course of a lifetime than high school graduates (annually, about a $10,000 difference), and fare even worse against college graduates.

But dropouts don’t absorb all their costs. A new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education, “Well and Well Off,” released July 10, estimates the medical savings within Medicaid that could have been, if fewer students dropped out of high school.

How much did dropouts cost the Medicaid system? In 2012 alone, about $7 billion. The study also found that high school graduates use Medicaid only 50 percent as much as dropouts. <Read more.>

Via Ross Brennen, Education Week.