An expansion of insurance programs saved hospitals at least $7.4 billion over the last year, the Obama administration announced. Hospitals faced fewer bills from patients who lacked insurance and were unable to pay, they also saw fewer ER visits, which rack up far higher costs and often leave hospitals with the tab. The costs of uncompensated care dropped by one-fifth nationwide in 2014, according to a government report
. Nearly 70% of those savings came from states that have expanded the eligibility for Medicaid. The 29 states with Medicaid expansions saved a total of $5 billion last year, compared to the $2.4 billion saved in states that did not expand the program. If all states had expanded Medicaid, their hospitals could have saved an extra $1.4 billion, the report finds.