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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Wide Variation in Insurance Rates in Massachusetts

Wide Variation in Insurance Rates in Massachusetts

April 17, 2017

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation has just released a detailed set of reports on uninsurance rates in the state, The Geography of Uninsurance in Massachusetts, 2011-2015. The report is based the five years of data from the census’ American Community Survey (ACS), which surveys 2 million households annually to identify uninsured residents.

Since the implementation of Chapter 58 our 2006 state health reform law, the insurance rate has increased dramatically. In 2015, 97.2% of the population had access to health care. However, “The Geography of Uninsurance, 2011-2015” highlights those areas in the state where the percentage of insured residents is much lower than the median. The wide variation is shown in this map:

Wide variation in insurance coverage in Massachusetts
The table below provides a list of municipalities ranked by the uninsurance rate (%) where HCFA has targeted our outreach and enrollment efforts:

Locations

Total Population (#)

Uninsured (#)

Uninsurance Rate (#)

Everett

43,714

4,413

10.1

Chelsea

37,110

3,605

9.7

Lawrence

78,108

6,216

8.0

Framingham

69,128

4,906

7.1

Brockton

93,441

4,800

5.1

Lowell

108,161

7,091

6.6

Lynn

91,294

5,575

6.1

Revere

52,858

3,248

6.1

Health Care For All’s HelpLine provides multilingual and culturally competent direct services as a navigator organization to improve access to health insurance and care for underserved communities such as the ones listed above. As part of this work, HCFA has deployed ethnic media campaigns and hosted successful enrollment events and sessions in towns with both high uninsurance rates and immigrant populations. We have also developed a partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center in Framingham to help residents navigate their health insurance options during Open Enrollment that will continue in 2017-2018, targeting Spanish and Portuguese speakers in the region.

If you know someone who is uninsured or needs help navigating the complicated healthcare system, please connect them to HCFA’s HelpLine at 1-800-272-4232.