Survey Examines Health Coverage in Massachusetts, Before Reforms

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<p>Stakeholders in Massachusetts and policymakers across the country are waiting to see the results of the state's health care reforms, which aim to make it easier for people to obtain and afford health coverage.<br /><br />In a new report, <a href="">Getting Ready for Reform: Insurance Coverage and Access to and Use of Care in Massachusetts in Fall 2006,</a> Sharon Long and Mindy Cohen of the Urban Institute provide a baseline from which to document changes in insurance coverage and health care experiences as the state implements new health system policies.<br /><br />The report is based on a survey, supported in part by The Commonwealth Fund, of 3,000 Massachusetts residents, conducted prior to the implementation of coverage reform efforts. Follow-up surveys in 2007 and 2008 will assess the impact of the reforms on access to and use of care. <br /><br /><em>Getting Ready for Reform</em> draws attention to the gaps in care faced by the uninsured, the high cost of care, and deficiencies in coverage faced by many of those enrolled in private plans, particularly low- and moderate-income adults. The survey found that one of seven low- or moderate-income, uninsured adults spent at least 10 percent of their income on out-of-pocket health costs--twice the rate among insured adults.</p>