Thanks to the landmark health care reform law passed in 2006, 98 percent of Massachusetts residents have health insurance. But just because you have insurance doesn't mean you can get affordable care.
That's the clear message of new a poll conducted by WBUR in partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
We polled Massachusetts residents who said they had a serious illness, medical condition, injury or disability requiring a lot of medical care, or spent at least one night in the hospital within the last year and got back a myriad of different responses. The poll finds that 78 percent of patient respondents say the cost of care is a very serious or somewhat serious problem. And 63 percent say the problem has gotten worse over the last five years.
One example was that of Tracy DeJesus, and her daughter, Giannie.
Giannie was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when she was just 2-years-old. Tracy had insurance through her job at a dental office, so she thought everything would be OK.
After all, a little girl with diabetes needs more than just doctor visits and medications; she also needs testing supplies and high quality. It was all too much for DeJesus to afford. She made the shocking but calculated decision to quit her job, leave her apartment behind and move into a shelter in Chelsea. She and her daughter are now on MassHealth, the subsidized insurance program for low-income Mass. residents.
WBUR's Martha Bebinger, who spoke with DeJesus, joins Radio Boston, along with Robert Blendon, who authored the poll, to talk more about what the poll results say about the state of health insurance in Massachusetts.
- Many In Mass. ‘Very Satisfied’ With Quality Of Health Care
- Mass. Health Costs ‘A Serious Problem’ For Many
- Sick In Massachusetts: Views On Health Care Costs And Quality
- Quality Of Care: Balance Of Knowledge, Communication
- Cost Of Care A Big Concern Despite Universal Coverage
- Mass. Lawmaker: Health Care Costs ‘No. 1 Concern’ For Patients
- Sick (And Poor) In Massachusetts: Longer Waits, Less Satisfied Patients
This segment aired on June 12, 2012.