One of the goals of the state's landmark 2006 health care law was to reduce personal medical debt, but recent data suggests that the rate of medical debt remains largely unchanged.
According to a report released this year by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, of more than 3,000 Massachusetts adults surveyed in 2010, 17.5 percent reported having problems paying medical bills during the previous year. The figures changed slightly from 2006, but researchers said the difference was not statistically significant.
Temporary lapses in insurance coverage and plans with high deductibles and copayments have contributed to debt. Rising health costs and the recession also played a role.
Some analysts tell The Boston Globe that although the law has failed to cut medical debt, it may have prevented an increase.
This program aired on September 10, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.