Mass. Universal Insurance Plan Proving Expensive and Ineffective

Armen Hareyan's picture

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has been boasting his state's health insurance reform initiative has reduced the number of uninsured by half, with nearly 300,000 more people added to the state's health insurance rolls. What he doesn't mention is that four out of five of them are relying heavily on taxpayer subsidies for their health insurance coverage.

Of the 293,000 people newly insured in Massachusetts:

  • 160,000 earn less than $63,600 (for a family of four) and are enrolled in taxpayer-subsidized plans. More than half of them pay no premiums, and most others pay only a modest amount.


  • 70,000 people were added to the rolls through expansion of the state's Medicaid program.

  • Only 63,000--or about one in five--have purchased private insurance.

In addition, about 60,000 are being declared exempt from the mandate all citizens must buy coverage, showing how elusive the goal of universal coverage will be, even for a state that had a relatively low uninsured population to begin with.

Cost of Health insurance Coverage