A UMass Medical School health policy expert has found overall health care spending in Massachusetts has increased by 57 percent since the state’s health law took effect 10 years ago, according to an article about the law’s anniversary on WBUR’s CommonHealth.
An analysis by Robert W. Seifert, MPA, of the Center for Health Law and Economics, a unit within UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division, finds health care spending in the state has risen from $38 billion, or $5,924 per person in 2006, to a projected $60 billion, or $8,755 per person in 2016, an increase of 57 percent. The analysis was based on data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis, and the U.S. Census Bureau.
The article shared 12 key facts and findings about how the law has changed the landscape of health care and insurance in Massachusetts. A recent state survey found there are about 248,000 uninsured residents in the state; Massachusetts collected $162 million in penalties from individuals who did not have health insurance between 2007 and February 2016; the average cost of a family health insurance plan increased from $12,290 in 2006 to $17,702 in 2014; and 320 fewer people died in each of the first four years in which the state mandated health care coverage.
Seifert also co-authored a review of the effects of the health law, 10 Years of Impact: A Literature Review of Chapter 58 of The Acts of 2006, with Kelly Anthoula Love, JD, of the Center for Health Law and Economics. Massachusetts’ health law laid the groundwork for improvements, but there are opportunities for further reform, particularly those related to cost, according to Seifert and Love. The review was commissioned by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and released April 12.
The bill, which aimed to ensure health care coverage for nearly every Massachusetts resident, was signed into law April 12, 2006, by then-governor Mitt Romney.