(Bloomberg) — Expanding health insurance coverage in Massachusetts helped reduce the likelihood that residents ages 20 to 64 would die, researchers report.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney managed efforts to implement the program, which started to take effect in 2006.
During the period from 2007 through 2010, the death rate for working-age adults was about 3 percent lower than it was from 2001 through 2005, according to researchers at the Harvard University School of Public Health.
The researchers calculate that the Massachusetts coverage expansion program prevented about 320 deaths a year, or one life saved for every 830 people who gained insurance.
The program lowered the risk of premature death for a person who gained health insurance by about 30 percent, the authors said.
The researchers found no similar decline in the rate of premature death in other states that had not set up coverage expansion programs.