Poll: Sick Massachusetts Residents Paying More for Health Care

A new Massachusetts poll finds that, even though the state has reached near universal health coverage, the sickest residents say they’re paying more for their healthcare.

The poll by the Harvard School of Public Health surveyed a thousand people with insurance who reported having a serious illness or injury, and using a lot of medical care over the past year. A majority of those surveyed believe health costs in general have gotten worse over the past five years. And more than a third of them said the amount of money they’ve paid for their own health care in the last year has caused a serious problem for their family.  Harvard professor Robert Blendon, who directed the survey, says many insurance policies in Massachusetts — as in other places — have shifted costs onto consumers through higher co-pays, deductibles, and monthly premiums…..

“So a take away from this is, it isn’t just having a policy, but it’s  how and what the policy covers. Which either leave pp financially secure, or people with serious illnesses can find themselves quite vulnerable,” he says.

Blendon says while very few people blamed the state’s health reform law for rising costs, the poll results could help push Massachusetts lawmakers to pass cost-control legislation — as they are in the final stages of doing. The poll was sponsored by Harvard, WBUR radio, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.