Two reports examine the state’s uninsured

Since Massachusetts passed comprehensive health reform legislation in 2006, the state’s uninsurance rate is significantly better than the national average. However, 85 percent of those still uninsured are nonelderly adults.

Two reports from authors at the State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) program and the Urban Institute, examine the demographics of this uninsured population:

The first paper, “Massachusetts Health Reform in 2008: Who are the Remaining Uninsured Adults?” reports that uninsured adults tend to be male, young and single, members of racial/ethnic minority groups, non-citizens and/or unable to speak English well compared to those with insurance. They also have substantially lower education levels, less employment, lower family income and greater financial stress than their insured peers.

In “The Importance of Young Adult Provisions in Massachusetts’ Health Reform,” the authors find that supplementing reform efforts with targeted programs to reduce costs is an effective way to expand coverage among young adults.

(Source: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Massachusetts Health Reform: The Remaining Uninsured, http://www.rwjf.org/, August 13, 2010)