All Publications

The Governor’s FY2017 Budget Proposal for MassHealth (Medicaid) and Health Reform Programs

This brief describes the governor's fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget proposal for MassHealth (Medicaid) and health reform programs. It is the first in a series of FY2017 budget briefs produced by the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute (MMPI) in partnership with Health Management Associates. MMPI will be publishing budget briefs at several stages in the FY2017 budget cycle as proposals move through the state legislature.

The Remaining Uninsured in Massachusetts: Experiences of Individuals Living without Health Insurance Coverage

Although Massachusetts has successfully achieved the lowest rate of uninsurance in the nation, thousands of individuals and families still live with the potential adverse health effects and financial impacts of not having health insurance. In 2015, an estimated 200,000 individuals in Massachusetts did not have health insurance coverage.

MassHealth Matters II: Long-Term Services & Supports: Opportunities for MassHealth

This chart pack, prepared by Manatt Health Solutions, provides an examination of the current state of long-term services and supports (LTSS), an area identified as a priority for reform by MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid). MassHealth accounts for nearly half of all spending on LTSS, amounting to $4.5 billion annually, and equal to 12 percent of the state budget. Using previously unpublished LTSS data, the chart pack examines MassHealth LTSS spending and utilization, access and affordability, workforce capacity and quality.

A Primer on Medicaid Managed Care Capitation Rates: Understanding How MassHealth Pays MCOs

This primer, prepared by Ellen Breslin of Health Management Associates, includes an explanation of how state Medicaid programs generally pay their MCOs, the overall process for setting Medicaid managed care capitation rates and the various tools that states use to mitigate the risks that MCOs face when they assume financial responsibility for Medicaid members.

Health Care Cost Concerns Among Older Residents of Massachusetts

This report summarizes the results of a July 2015 poll conducted by a team led by Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D. of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The poll was conducted to assess the perspectives of Massachusetts adults age 65 and over on the issues of affordability, access, and satisfaction with their health care coverage.

Minding the Gaps: The State of Coverage to Supplement Medicare in Massachusetts

There are almost one million seniors in Massachusetts and while most enjoy broad coverage and protection against the cost of many health care services through Medicare, they may also face significant gaps, finding themselves responsible for substantial deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. This report, prepared by Nancy Turnbull and Katherine Heflin of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, reviews the many private and public coverage options available to seniors to supplement Medicare coverage.

Chapter 224 Tracking Tool, Updated August 2015

This updated edition of the tracking tool provides a detailed description of key components of Chapter 224, highlighting the progress the state has made in its implementation of the law as of August 2015. This tool is designed for policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders who wish to track when and how state leaders have addressed policy issues pertaining to Chapter 224.

Implementing the Affordable Care Act in Massachusetts: Changes in Subsidized Coverage Programs

In March 2010, President Obama signed The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which included significant changes impacting health insurance coverage across the United States. Although many elements of the ACA were based on Massachusetts’ health insurance reform, there were still many decisions and activities that Massachusetts needed to address in order to comply with the new federal Medicaid and health insurance marketplace requirements, most of which were required to be effective as of January 2014.

Making Health Care Affordable Grant Program Final Evaluation

The “ Making Health Care Affordable” (MHCA) three-year grant program concluded in 2014. Margaret Houy and Kate Bazinsky of Bailit Health Purchasing, LLC report on the impact of the BCBSMA Foundation’s funding initiative. The goal of MHCA was to fund interventions aimed at containing costs while increasing access and quality of care. Bailit examines how the Foundation’s objectives were met, what factors led to successful program implementation, common barriers faced by grantees, and which programs may have generalizability.

Massachusetts Medicaid 50th Anniversary Timeline

Medicaid, a federal-state partnership program, has advanced a variety of both federal and state health coverage reform goals over the last 50 years. There is perhaps no state in which Medicaid has played a more important role in the evolution of how health care is delivered and paid for than Massachusetts. This interactive timeline reflects some of the key moments in our history where Medicaid served to expand coverage for low-income and vulnerable people in the Commonwealth.

Leveraging the Social Determinants of Health: What Works?

Social determinants of health, which encompass social, behavioral and environmental influences on one’s health, have taken center stage in recent health policy discussions. While research indicates that greater attention to these non-medical factors may improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs, translating this evidence into actionable recommendations for policy makers and others has been challenging.