Estimated Minimum Savings to the Medicaid Budget in Florida by Implementing a Primary Seat Belt Law

A 2003 study estimated that if all States had primary laws from 1995 to 2002, over 12,000 lives would have been saved. Failure to implement a primary belt law creates a real cost to a State’s budget for Medicaid and other State medical expenditures. This study estimates the minimum dollars Florida can expect to save on direct medical costs (primarily paid through Medicaid) by the implementation of a primary seat belt law. The current study analyzed Florida’s 2005 Hospital Discharge Data, including only cases where the external cause of injury was a motor vehicle crash. The total estimated costs to Medicaid, including Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury costs, from motor vehicle crashes for the first year the injury was incurred for Florida is $105.5 million for the first year and $21.4 million for each year after. In 2005, Florida’s seat belt use rate was 73.9%. Based on the conversion rate one would expect belt use to increase by 10.44% and of those newly belted individuals, at least 50% would avoid injury (based on seat belt effectiveness in reducing injury). The 2005 Federal Government reimbursement rate for Florida’s Medicaid expenditures was 58.76%. Accounting for this reimbursement, the first-year savings to the State by implementation of a primary seat belt law would be about $2.3 million dollars. By the fifth year, the savings would be $4.1 million for that year alone. Florida could expect to save $15.9 million in the first 5 years and $43.1 million over 10 years.


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Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 12p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01095905
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-810 747
  • Contract Numbers: DTNG22-05-D-15043, Task Order No. 0008
  • Files: HSL, NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 1 2008 2:39PM