Findings from Massachusetts Health Reform: Lessons for Other States

The Effect of the Massachusetts Reform on Health Care Utilization

The 2006 Massachusetts health care reform expanded insurance coverage in the state to near-universal levels. As the uninsured gained coverage, their out-of-pocket costs of medical care fell, inducing them to seek more care.

This paper analyzes the effect of the reform on reported health care utilization and outcomes by both synthesizing the existing research on the Massachusetts health care reform and providing new evidence using the National Health Interview Survey.

The results show evidence that the Massachusetts reform increased residents’ use of health care services including primary and preventive care; reduced reliance on the hospital emergency room as a usual source of care; and improved self-reported health.