Yesterday, the Division released its 2010 Massachusetts Household Insurance Survey results, showing that not only does Massachusetts continue to have the highest health insurance coverage rate in the nation, but that our state has seen gains even through an economic recession.
This year, more than 98 percent of Massachusetts residents have health insurance. These results are astonishing.
Some of the most exciting news is related to children and elderly adults, as the survey found that virtually all Massachusetts children have health insurance (99.8 percent) and nearly all elderly adults are covered (99.6 percent).
The survey, conducted by the independent Urban Institute on behalf of the Division, indicates that coverage is very strong for Massachusetts residents at all income levels, ranging from 96 percent for those with family income under 300 percent of the federal poverty level to over 99 percent of those with income above 500 percent of the federal poverty level. (The methodology summary is available on our website). Nonetheless, there are still opportunities to improve coverage primarily for Hispanic residents and those who report fair or poor health. And we are committed to improving those results.
But in order to sustain the tremendous gains that Massachusetts has made in terms of access to care, the Division is concentrating its efforts to further understand and contain the rising costs of health care and maintain high quality of care. Some of these efforts include the Division’s annual cost trends reports and public hearings, the development of recommendations for a uniform set of quality measures, and the continuous push for more transparency in the health care delivery system through the creation of an all-payer claims database.
In the near future, the success of health care reform will be measured by our ability to meaningfully address the cost challenge. But today, we should celebrate our tremendous continuing gains in access to care.