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A Quiz on Health Reform in Massachusetts by Nancy Turnbull

This article is more than 14 years old.

It's Summer, the perfect time for the first ever test on the state's health coverage law. Take your have one week to get us your answers. Email them to: We'll send you back your score. The answers will be posted next Tuesday. There will be some exciting prizes which we will post with the answers.

If You Build It, Will They Come?

• Which health plan has the most Commonwealth Care members?

• What percent of the people who have enrolled in Commonwealth Care so far are required to pay a premium?

• What percent of the estimated number of uninsured people with incomes less the poverty level have enrolled in Commonwealth Care?

• How much funding for health reform outreach and enrollment is included in the FY08 budget?

• How many other states have passed comprehensive health coverage reform laws since Chapter 58 was enacted in April 2006?Shared Responsibility

• How much in total Medicaid rate increases are providers scheduled to receive in fiscal years 2007-2009 under the provisions of Chapter 58?

• How much money does that state estimate it would collect in FY 2007 from employers that dif not make a “fair and reasonable” contribution to health insurance?

• If every adult who was uninsured in Massachusetts when Chapter 58 was enacted were to become insured year-round, at a monthly premium of $175 per month, approximately how much additional revenue would health insurers receive annually?

• If every person who is eligible for Commonwealth Care were to enroll, approximately how much money will be left in the Health Safety Net Trust Fund?

• Why is June 30, 2008 a critical date for Massachusetts health reform?Coverage and Costs

• Suppose you are a resident of Boston (who’s older than 26), you aren’t eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance, Medicaid or Commonwealth Care, and you’re looking for health insurance to comply with the individual mandate. If you consider only products sold by four health insurers (Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim, Neighborhood Health Plan and Tufts Health Plan), how many different products would you need to review to ensure that you’ve exercised fully your newly-granted right of greater choice?

• If you live in Boston and get a job working for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, how many different health insurance options would you have?

• What’s the approximate average monthly premium contribution paid by a worker in Massachusetts who has employer-based health insurance?

• What’s the lowest monthly premium available to a 27-year-old hospital worker in Massachusetts who lives in Boston and buys a Commonwealth Choice product?

• Assume this person is not eligible for Medicaid, Commonwealth Care or employer-sponsored insurance, and does have to comply with the individual mandate. If there is no increase in Commonwealth Choice premiums in 2008, what penalty will this person have to pay if he or she does not purchase insurance in 2008?


• What would the penalty be if this person were 60-years old instead of 27?

• What is the annual permissible limit on covered medical expenses in a Young Adult Policy?

• Suppose you are a young adult living in Boston who purchases the least expensive Young Adult Plan sold through the Connector. You have a bad car accident and incur hospital costs of $70,000. How much more will your out-of pocket expenses be than if you had purchased the most comprehensive policy available to you?

Who Said It?

• “I don’t like calling it [the Massachusetts reform law] universal coverage. That smacks of Hillarycare.”
• “Half-jokingly” refers to insurers as ‘sleazeballs and bloodsuckers’."
• “My status symbol is my brown felt hat from Botswana.”
• “Section 125 is not sexy.”
• “The real measure of success is not just access to health insurance. It’s not even access to health care. What we want is improved health.”

Not Just Health Coverage

• How many state entities were affected or created by Chapter 58?
• Name three specific goals proposed for FY 2008 by the Health Care Quality and Cost Council.

• What company is coordinating the new statewide infection prevention and control program?

• What was the overall Massachusetts ranking in the recent Commonwealth Fund “State Scorecard on Health Systems Performance”?

• Where did Massachusetts rank in the category “Avoidable Hospital Use and Costs”?Pot Pourri

• Name 5 of the top 20 employers in Massachusetts that have 50 or more employees using public health assistance programs.

• Approximately what percent of non-US citizens living in Massachusetts have no health insurance?

• Which Red Sox players are featured in the Connector’s “I’ve Got It” TV ad?

• Name two of the tag lines in the health reform advertising series “Because…”

• What WBUR Commhealth blog entry has generated the most reader comments?Finale: for Extra Credit

• Submit a health reform haiku (in 5-7-5 format)

This program aired on July 18, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

Martha Bebinger Twitter Reporter
Martha Bebinger covers health care and other general assignments for WBUR.