Press Release: Study finds that private insurance hasn?t been ?crowded out? and costs have been kept in check for most Massachusetts workers

Friday, October 2, 2009



How Employers React to Health Reform: The Massachusetts Experience


Study finds that private insurance hasn’t been “crowded out” and costs have been kept in check for most Massachusetts workers



Susan Ryan-Vollmar

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation


[email protected]


October 2, 2009—Concerns that health reform in Massachusetts would push private insurers out of the market – a phenomenon known as “crowd out” – are as yet unfounded, according to a study in Health Affairs. The study found that 90 percent of Massachusetts employers offered health insurance in 2008, the same as prior to health reform. However, by 2008, 84% of employees accepted that coverage—an increase over pre-reform levels. The study also found that employees are more satisfied with their employer-sponsored health plans than they were in 2006. Additionally, the study found that the share of working-age adults reporting problems with their health plan remains unchanged since 2006. The share of workers at small firms reporting premiums that were more than twice the average premium for workers in small firms, however, increased 8.6 percentage points when compared to previous levels. Nonetheless, those workers were no more likely to report that they did not get care they needed in 2008 because of costs than prior to reform.