money·2 min read

How the Measles Outbreak Can Affect Your Finances

measles and your wallet
Getty Images
Apr 24, 2019

The growing number of measles outbreaks in the US isn’t just bad health news. It’s bad financial news, too. Even if you're not on the receiving end of a $1,000 bill from NYC’s health department for not vaccinating your kids. Yes, that’s a real thing. Here’s who else pays:

The government: When measles cases start popping up, state and local govs scramble to respond. Oh yeah, and they use your tax dollars to do it. In Kansas City, it’s estimated that one measles case costs taxpayers almost $5,000.

Public health: Living in a state dealing with a measles outbreak means your health department has to reallocate its budget to treat the disease. Workers in Washington state doing damage control on 70+ cases this year have had to hit ‘pause’ on everything from STD and hepatitis research to restaurant inspections.

Maybe you: On top of contributing your tax dollars, if there’s been an outbreak in your area, you may be on the hook for more. In Washington, 800 kids were kept out of school, translating to lost wages and/or productivity for parents who stayed home with them.

theSkimm: Health emergencies aren’t cheap. For anyone. People who contract the disease could be looking at a $10,000 hospital stay. If you’re not sure you’re vaccinated but want to be, call the doc. There’s no harm in getting another dose. And with most health insurance plans, it’ll be free.

Subscribe to Skimm Money

Your source for the biggest financial headlines and trends, and how they affect your wallet.