Massachusetts has been exemplary in developing health insurance coverage policies to cover its residents. By 2019, the state’s uninsurance rate was 3.0 percent, the lowest rate in the nation, representing about 204,000 uninsured residents. While the state’s overall uninsured rate at a given point in time is low, more than twice as many people - 503,000, or 7.3 percent of the population - experienced a gap in coverage over the previous twelve months. And importantly, not all groups benefit equally.
Reducing Coverage Loss: A 2023 Update on the End of the Federal Continuous Coverage Requirement in MassHealth
This issue brief aims to educate stakeholders and policymakers about an upcoming federal policy change that could impact coverage for many MassHealth members. Like all states, Massachusetts received enhanced federal Medicaid funding under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the first major federal stimulus package passed by Congress in response to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. As a condition of receiving these funds, Massachusetts was required to maintain continuous coverage in MassHealth during the federal COVID-19 public health emergency.
This UPDATED (October 2022) edition of the MassHealth: The Basics chart pack provides new data on MassHealth enrollment and spending from the most recent state fiscal years available. The chart pack also features a high-level overview and status update on the state’s delivery system reform efforts, including a summary of the key elements of MassHealth’s latest 1115 demonstration waiver extension that was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on September 28, 2022.
UPDATED! Promoting Access to Care and Coverage During a Public Health Crisis: COVID-19–Related Changes Affecting MassHealth, Health Connector, and Health Safety Net
Massachusetts, with support from the federal government, has implemented several policy and programmatic changes intended to promote continued access to health care services and health insurance coverage during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This table serves as a centralized resource that documents and describes the policy, regulatory, and administrative actions pertaining to MassHealth, Health Connector programs, and the Health Safety Net.
The End of the Federal Continuous Coverage Requirement in MassHealth: Key Strategies for Reducing Coverage Loss
An updated version of this issue brief is now available here.
This issue brief aims to educate stakeholders and policymakers about an upcoming federal policy change that could impact coverage for many MassHealth members. Like all states, Massachusetts received enhanced federal Medicaid funding under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the first major federal stimulus package passed by Congress in response
Expanded Coverage and Savings: Effects in Massachusetts of Extending the American Rescue Plan Act's Enhanced Marketplace Subsidies
This report provides an analysis of the impacts of the enhanced premium subsidies for purchasing health insurance through the Marketplace, or Health Connector in Massachusetts, that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) temporarily authorized through 2022.
Racism and Racial Inequities in Health: A Data-Informed Primer on Health Disparities in Massachusetts
This primer serves as a foundational resource to broaden the collective understanding of racial and ethnic health inequities and disparities in the Commonwealth as part of our new focus area of Structural Racism and Racial Inequities in Health.
In response to the health and economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in March 2021, which makes $1.9 trillion available to individuals, states and territories, counties, cities, community organizations, educational institutions, and other entities. Some funds are intended to shore up or even expand programs and agencies that have been depleted during the pandemic, while other funds are designated or available to create new programs.
This five-part series of issue briefs describes MassHealth’s impact on the health and finances of its members, families, and communities, as well as on the wide variety of stakeholders and sectors outside of the traditional health care realm that benefit from the program, including:
This resource highlights the most recent monthly enrollment data available for MassHealth and ConnectorCare — the two most prominent sources of publicly financed health insurance in Massachusetts. The compiled data and highlighted trends described in this resource are intended to help policymakers, health care stakeholders, and others track how enrollment in these programs has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting public health and the economy of the Commonwealth. This resource will be updated regularly with the latest enrollment data as it becomes available.
Potential Coverage and Federal Funding Losses for Massachusetts if California v. Texas Ultimately Overturns the Affordable Care Act
California v. Texas, a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The court is expected to begin hearing arguments on this case on November 10, 2020. A final ruling that overturns the ACA would have widespread implications, affecting every state in the nation.
The revised federal public charge rule – which was finalized in August 2019 and took effect in Massachusetts in February 2020 – makes it harder for certain low- and moderate-income immigrants to obtain green cards or visas if they have applied for or enrolled in public benefits such as MassHealth or the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). This report describes the expected effects of the revised federal public charge rule on MassHealth and SNAP enrollment, and its downstream effects on the health of Massachusetts residents, health care providers, and the state’s economy.
Potential Coverage and Federal Funding Losses for Massachusetts if Texas v. United States Ultimately Overturns the Affordable Care Act
Texas v. United States, a case currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The court’s decision in the case could be announced any day and the case may ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. A final ruling that overturns the ACA would have widespread implications, affecting every state in the nation.
This brief and accompanying set of tables serve as an update to previously released reports on the geography of uninsurance in Massachusetts. Relying on newly released data for 2013-2017 from the American Community Survey (ACS), this brief uses three measures of uninsurance – uninsurance rate, number of uninsured, and concentration of uninsured – to identify high-uninsurance communities in the state.
This collection of materials is the latest in a series by the Urban Institute summarizing the findings from the 2018 Massachusetts Health Reform Survey (MHRS). The Foundation began conducting the MHRS in fall 2006 to support the evaluation of Massachusetts’ 2006 health care reform bill. The survey has been fielded periodically since 2006 – most recently in spring 2018 – to monitor key measures pertaining to health insurance coverage and health care access and affordability among non-elderly adults (ages 19-64) in Massachusetts.
This brief describes the potential impact in Massachusetts of a proposed rule, released by the Department of Homeland Security in October 2018, to change the process by which it determines whether an immigrant is inadmissible to the United States or unable to adjust status because the person is likely to become a “public charge.” The proposed Public Charge Rule would mark a significant shift from current policy by defining a “public charge” as a noncitizen who receives one or more public benefits.
This brief provides an overview of the steps that Massachusetts has taken to establish a functioning insurance market that provides consumers with meaningful access to health coverage. It includes a review of statutory and regulatory provisions in place today, and provides context for key health reform initiatives that have occurred over the past 30+ years. This brief is structured around four key components of a functioning market for health coverage:
Federal authorization for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired on September 30, 2017. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have filed a bill to extend CHIP for five years, but Congress did not act quickly enough to prevent the current authorization from expiring. Unspent federal CHIP funds may be carried over into the next fiscal year and Massachusetts’s current allotment of federal CHIP funds should allow the state to continue to use CHIP funds for benefits until early 2018.
This chart pack provides an overview of the Senate-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, highlighting some of its key provisions, particularly as they relate to Medicaid. Developed by Manatt Health, this chart pack was commissioned by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation for the Massachusetts Coalition for Coverage and Care.