Skip to main content

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Current Filters

Filter your query

Publication Types



Newsletter Article


Study Finds Mass Health Law Reduces Uninsured by Half

By CQ Staff

June 4, 2008 -- A year after Massachusetts launched its health coverage plan, the number of uninsured adults fell by almost half, from 13 percent to 7.1 percent, according to a new study published in the journal Health Affairs.

The study, written by Urban Institute researcher Sharon K. Long, also found no evidence of individuals dropping private insurance to enroll in public health programs. Among low-income adults, the group eligible for subsidized coverage under the Massachusetts program, employer coverage increased by five percentage points between fall 2006 and fall 2007.

Under the law, uninsured residents over age 18 must obtain health insurance if affordable coverage is available and pay penalties if they don't. Similarly, employers with 11 or more workers must contribute toward the cost of health coverage or pay a penalty of $295 annually per uncovered worker.

The Health Affairs study also found that as a result of the program, low-income adults in Massachusetts were more likely to have a place that they usually go to when they are sick or need advice about their health. They were also more likely to have a doctor visit for preventative care or a dental care visit.

Higher than expected take-up rates have increased costs beyond previous estimates, Long wrote, with the long-run success of the program hinging "in part of sustaining support for the new policies in the face of these higher costs."

Publication Details