About 43% of insured Massachusetts residents in 2017 reported having a healthcare “affordability issue” during the past 12 months, and about 23% said they had an unmet health need due to cost.
The state’s Center for Health information and Analysis (CHIA) issued those conclusions last week in an eight-page report entitled Affordability Issues Persist Despite Near Universal Health Insurance Coverage
. The data in the report comes from the 2017 Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey – a telephone poll of about 5,000 households conducted between April and July of 2017.
An “affordability issue”, according to the report, consists of any one of the following: problems paying family medical bills; family medical debt (paying off bills over time); any unmet healthcare need due to cost; and high family spending on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Low- and middle-income people had more affordability issues than those with higher incomes, and those with fair and poor health had more affordability issues than their healthier peers.