After the Mandates: Massachusetts Employers Continue to Support Health Reform as More Firms Offer Coverage

Increasing rates of employers offering insurance coverage suggest that crowd-out is not occurring after one year under Massachusetts health reform.

What researchers found: The majority of Massachusetts firms increased their understanding of and support for the state's health care reform. Between 2007 and 2008, the percentage of Massachusetts firms with three or more workers offering coverage increased from 73 percent to 79 percent. Compared to a sample of U.S. firms, Massachusetts employers were less likely to indicate future termination of coverage or restriction of eligibility for health benefits due to reform requirements.

Why we chose this publication: Fears of employers dropping insurance coverage were mitigated since study results did not indicate crowding-out of private insurance after one year of reform. Considering most firms in Massachusetts and the nation are small with 3 to 24 workers, this study's findings suggest that similar reform efforts may succeed in other states.

What researchers studied: Researchers examined employers' views and actions before and after Massachusetts reform by conducting phone interviews with a sample of public and private firms employing three or more workers. The comparison group was U.S. firms who were asked similar questions in 2007 and 2008 as part of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research and Education Trust Employer Health Benefits Survey.

Publication information:
"After the Mandates: Massachusetts Employers Continue to Support Health Reform as More Firms Offer Coverage"
Gabel JR, Whitmore H, Pickreign J, Sellheim W, Shova KC, Bassett V
Health Affairs-Web Exclusive, 27(6): w566–w575, October 28, 2008.