Six years ago today, Massachusetts' health-care overhaul came into effect. The law required nearly all Bay State residents to purchase health insurance — and required insurers to accept all applicants, regardless of their health-care status. Perhaps most importantly, the Massachusetts law served as the model for the federal overhaul in 2010. So it's worth looking at what's changed in Massachusetts over the past six years, to understand where the federal law may take us.
The Massachusetts health reform law's most straightforward impact has been on health insurance access: As coverage rates across the country dropped, the Bay State's have grown. In 2006, before the law passed, 86.6 percent of adults had health insurance. In 2010, the most recent year for which data is available, 94.2 percent did. Health Affairs Buy Photo