Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Number of Insured Continues to Grow in Massachusetts

clipped from
The number of people with health insurance continues to grow in Massachusetts, home of a closely watched universal health insurance plan.
Some 439,000 people have signed up for insurance since the plan went into effect in 2006, state officials said in a report released yesterday. (The figures exclude Medicare.) That’s more than two-thirds of the estimated 600,000 who were uninsured in the state two years ago, the Boston Globe reports.

Indeed, so many people have signed up for insurance that the program is costing far more than expected, and there’s currently a fight in the state over how to pay for it.

Still, there’s a financial upside. The number of people showing up at emergency rooms for routine care — an inefficient, high-cost way to get such care — has fallen 37% since the plan went into effect, the Globe says. That decline has saved the state an estimated $68 million.

The report is online here; a Washington Post story on the report is here.

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