Comprehensive Health Care Reform and Massachusetts
As Massachusetts releases its health insurance coverage numbers saying 95 percent of its residents are covered and that they think health insurance in Massachusetts is affordable for them are we on our way to a very different debate?
The Massachusetts health care reform law appears on its way to:
- Covering two-thirds of those who did not have health insurance on the day it was enacted--about 400,000 people by the end of 2009.
- Covering most of those who were uninsured in households with incomes below 300% of the federal poverty level--below which the plan pays all or most health insurance premiums.
- Offering health insurance plans to middle-income people that are still largely unaffordable for those families making less than $110,000 a year--people for whom the state has generally canceled the individual mandate that they must buy coverage.
- Racking up costs well above what was first estimated. The plan looks to be coming in 38% higher than originally estimated for its first year and the Governor is now estimating second year costs 50% higher than the original estimate--from $725 million to $1.1 billion for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
- Developing an annual cost trend for the program's insurance programs, Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice, in the 10% to 15% range.