The new Massachusetts health coverage expansion program may be creating more hassles for the state’s low-income residents.
Alan Raymond, a health care finance consultant, describes that unfortunate side effect of the program in a report on progress and challenges 1 year after the Bay State started implementing the program.
The program is supposed to help uninsured Massachusetts residents by increasing enrollment in Medicaid for the lowest-income residents, helping other low-income residents by subsidized coverage, and requiring most residents to either obtain coverage from their employers or buy coverage through private insurers.
Massachusetts opened up the subsidized Commonwealth Care program for moderately low income residents in October 2006.
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Enrollment in MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program, has increased by 53,000 since June 2006, Raymond writes in his report.
The Commonwealth Care program has reached about 54,000 previously uninsured residents with incomes between 100% and 200% of the federal poverty level, or about 90% of the residents believed to be in that category, in part because the state pays 100% of the premiums and enrolls those residents in the program automatically.