More than seven years after Massachusetts enacted its health reform law, data from the state reveal that employer health coverage rose, even as coverage declined nationally. The Massachusetts experience illustrates why employers contemplating benefits changes ought to consider a range of factors including recruitment and retention, absenteeism, tax implications along with the influence of an individual mandate.
In three successive laws over seven years, the state of Massachusetts has expanded coverage to virtually every resident and put in place controls intended to curb rising costs. The result: a fresh wave of industry consolidation, signs of improved health, modest changes in patient behavior, stubbornly high costs and a recognition that true transformation takes years if not decades.
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