Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey


The Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey (MHIS) provides information on health insurance coverage, health care access and use, and health care affordability for Massachusetts residents as part of CHIA’s Continuing Study on Insurance Coverage, Underinsurance and Uninsurance.   

The MHIS is a tool used by CHIA, legislators, policymakers, employers, insurers and other stakeholders to track and monitor the experiences of Massachusetts residents in obtaining timely and affordable health care. While national data sources can help to monitor some aspects of health insurance coverage and health care access, this survey provides the ability to track issues that are specific to Massachusetts. The MHIS additionally enables CHIA to track key populations that are of particular interest to the Commonwealth. The 2019 MHIS was fielded between April and July 2019 and a follow-up study was fielded between December 2019 and January 2020.

CHIA has produced several products sourced from the MHIS:


Research Brief: Over Half of Massachusetts Residents Report Unmet Health-Related Social Needs in Their Families
(June 2021)

Using the 2019 Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey (MHIS) follow-up study, this research brief presents rates of unmet health-related social needs (HRSNs) overall and among population subgroups defined by family income, race/ethnicity, and family type. HRSNs are associated with poorer health, compromised health care access, and higher health care costs. Survey respondents who reported food insecurity, housing instability, financial strain, and/or employment instability in their families were considered to have an unmet HRSN.

This brief is CHIA’s first step to document the burden of unmet HRSNs in Massachusetts and better understand how they are experienced by residents and their families across the state.


An Inside Look: Affordability Findings from The
Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey (MHIS)

Research Note Series: An Inside Look: Affordability Findings from the MHIS
(February - May 2021)

A new series of research notes—An Inside Look: Affordability Findings from the MHIS—explores health care affordability issues that Massachusetts residents face despite high rates of health insurance coverage in the Commonwealth.

Findings for the Inside Look series come from the Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey (MHIS). The MHIS provides information on health insurance coverage, health care access and use, and perceived health care affordability for the non-institutionalized population in Massachusetts.

The MHIS also examines health care affordability by asking residents about any difficulties paying family medical bills, their medical debt, the amount and share of family income spent on out-of-pocket health care costs, any unmet health care needs due to the cost of care, unexpected medical bills,* and any strategies used by their family to lower their health care costs. 

Please note: Unexpected medical bills may reflect a variety of factors, including gaps in health insurance literacy, receiving care from an out-of-network provider who was thought to be in-network (often referred to as surprise medical billing), or balance billing by providers (defined as billing the patient directly for the balance not covered by insurance).

 


2019 Massachusetts
Health Insurance Survey


2019 Massachusetts Health Coverage Graphic - Affordability Issues - Click for larger view

Click to enlarge

The 2019 Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey

(April 2020)

The Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey (MHIS) provides information on health insurance coverage, health care access and use, and health care affordability for Massachusetts residents as part of CHIA’s Continuing Study on Insurance Coverage, Underinsurance and Uninsurance. 

Key Findings (April 2020)

    • At 2.9%, the uninsurance rate in Massachusetts remained low in 2019.

 

    • Among residents visiting the ED, over a third (34%) sought care for a non-emergency condition in their most recent ED visit.

 

  • Nearly two in five residents who were insured for all of the past 12 months (37%) reported receiving an unexpected medical bill in their family where their insurer paid less than expected or not at all.

 

  • Forty-eight percent of residents experienced health care affordability issues in the past 12 months.




prior Health Insurance Publications

2019

 

This research brief, published by CHIA in April 2019, documents the scope of health care affordability issues among Massachusetts residents with health insurance coverage all year (referred to as insured residents) and the rates of affordability issues for population subgroups.

 

2017

 

This research brief compares the methodologies used to calculate the Commonwealth's health uninsurance rate using survey data. The Massachusetts uninsurance rates are quite similar despite differences in survey methodologies used across surveys.

2015


2014


2012 (Estimate)


2011


2010


2009