Massachusetts' 3-year-old healthcare reform effort has helped the state achieve near universal coverage with just 4% of state residents 18 to 64 years old remaining uninsured, according to a new study. That rate is well below the national average of 20% uninsured in that demographic.
Mass. reform yielded near universal coverage: study
The study—titled Health Reform in Massachusetts: An Update on Insurance Coverage and Support for Reform as of Fall 2008 and sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—also found that 72% of state residents approved of the progress made under healthcare reform. According to researchers, adults with incomes less than 300% of the federal poverty level—$10,991 for a single person—experienced the greatest gain in coverage between 2007 and 2008. That group saw its uninsured rate drop to 8% from 24%.
Employer-sponsored insurance coverage also continued to grow with more than 70% of nonelderly Massachusetts residents accessing health insurance through their employers. Massachusetts law requires businesses with 11 or more employees to provide coverage or pay an annual fine of $250 per employee.
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