MHIS Affordability and Unmet Social Needs Reporting

Affordability Findings
from The 2019 MHIS

Research Note Series: Affordability Findings from the 2019 MHIS
(February - May 2021)

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.

With data coming from the 2019 Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey (MHIS), this series provides information on health insurance coverage, health care access and use, and perceived health care affordability for the non-institutionalized population in Massachusetts.

The series 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. 

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* 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).

Research Brief
from the 2019 MHIS

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

Using the 2019 Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey (MHIS), 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.

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