For us at HCFA, the report of the continued increase in insurance coverage cheered us yet again. The 2010 Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey from DHCFP reported the extraordinary finding that 98.1% of all Massachusetts residents have coverage, a statistically significant increase from last year’s level of 97.3% (full report (pdf); 1-page summary (pdf); press release).
Just 120,000 Bay Staters are uninsured. The study found higher uninsurance rates among those under age 25, people with low income, and Hispanic residents.
But for us, the finding that 99.8% of all children had coverage took our breath away. Children have always been a special concern of HCFA. HCFA fought in 1991 for expanding coverage to all kids under 6, and then started the Children’s Health Access Coalition in 1995, in response to the closing of kid’s eligibility for coverage. In 1996 and 1997 we were central in expanding coverage for all kids up to age 18, and our law became the model for the federal CHIP law. In 2002 we were one of few non-profits nationally to host the Covering Kids and Families project, and last year we received a federal grant to help enroll every uninsured child in the Commonwealth.
So today’s historic news of virtually universal coverage for children in Massachusetts rewarded all of our hard work over the past 2½ decades. As we mark the end of HCFA’s 25th anniversary year, we could not ask for a better present.