A nonprofit health insurer says the Massachusetts health reform program appears to be meeting creators’ goals.
Robert Seifert and Paul Swoboda, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, prepared an analysis of the reform program, which includes individual and employer health coverage requirements, on behalf of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Boston.
Massachusetts Blue and many other Massachusetts carriers supported the creation of the reform program.
Some critics have complained about increasing rates and shortages of primary care physician care since the program began to take effect, but the researchers who prepared the analysis for Massachusetts Blue say the program has met its goals of treating stakeholders fairly and reducing spending on the uninsured.
Employers and union health plans accounted for about 45% of total Massachusetts health insurance spending in 2007, 1 year after the coverage requirements and related programs began to take effect, with government accounting for about 30% and individuals accounting for about 25%, the researchers report.
The percentages were the same as in 2005, and that means the program met a policy goal set forth in state law, that each sector should continue to be responsible for roughly the same share of health insurance costs, the researchers write.
The researchers also found that spending on health services for the uninsured fell to $1.1 billion in Massachusetts in 2007, down 40% from the 2005 total.
Massachusetts justified the application for the Medicaid waiver used to fund part of the program by contending that the health reform program would reduce government spending on health care for the uninsured, the researchers write.