Week of Numbers II — New HCFP Uninsured Estimates

This just out this afternoon from the EOHHS Division of Health Care Finance and Policy:

BOSTON — Due to the ongoing successful implementaiton of health care reform, the number of Massachusetts residents without health insurance has dropped significantly since last year, according to survey results released today by the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (HCFP).

The survey — conducted between January through July 2007 — found that 355,000, or 5.7 percent of Massachusetts residents, do not have health insurance. This represents a 10 percent decrease from the same period last year.

The overall uninsured rate dropped from 6.4 percent to 5.7 percent, and the number of people without coverage fell from 395,000 to 355,000. The uninsured rate for adults under the age of 65 decreased from 9.2 to 8.2 percent, while there was no statistically significant change in the uninsured rate for children (2.3 percent). …

These findings are based on a survey conducted for HCFP by the Center for Survey Research at UMass-Boston. The Center surveyed nearly 10,500 individuals and more than 4,000 Massachusetts households starting in January 2007.

In the process of analyzing the latest survey results, a methodological issue was identified that has resulted in a restatement of the 2006 survey results. This adjustment corrects for an under-representation of young adults aged 18-30, who are more likely to be uninsured. The likely explanation for this under-representation is the growth in cell-phone only households.

Both the 2006 and 2007 survey results have been adjusted to address this issue. This adjustment yielded a higher estimate of the uninsured in the Commonwelath in 2006 of 6.4 percent or 395,000, compared to 6.0 percent or 372,000, as had been originally reported.

Lots of numbers getting tossed around. Bottom line — the survey confirms a significant drop in the number of uninsured in the Commonwealth. Because these numbers were collected during a pretty volatile period, we believe the actual drop in uninsured is much, much higher. We also think the beginning number of uninsured is probably higher as well. Nonetheless, this is good news, and one more piece of evidence that health reform is making a positive and significant difference.

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1 Response to Week of Numbers II — New HCFP Uninsured Estimates

  1. AnnS says:

    This seems like the spinning of very ambivalent news:

    Jan. 2007 395,000 uninsured (acceppting that as the number and not the other studies that showed closer to 530,000)

    Jan – July 2007 170,000 enrolled in new plans (about 165,000 in Medicaid and Commonwealth Care, and 5000 in Cmmonwealth Choice)

    Jan. 395,000 – 170,000 enrolled between Jan – July = 225,000 which should be the number of those still uninured

    except that it is not 225,000 – it is 355,000

    That is 130,000 people MORE who do not have insurance than in Jan after ading back in the 170,000 who have enrolled in plans. For every 4 people enrolled in the new plans, 3 more lose insurance coverage.

    That is bailing the boat with a bucket.

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