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Lessons from Massachusetts

Some points about health reform in Massachusetts that Kay Lazar of The Boston Globe says should be considered when covering the national health care debate. From the Talking Health webinar on Sept. 9, 2009.

Small businesses are not winners

Must offer coverage or pay a penalty if they employ the equivalent of 11 full-time workers

Individual and small business insurance market combined

Double digit premium increases for small businesses

Lower premiums for individuals

Finding a solution is hard

Older people pay more for mandated coverage than younger people

Rates can be twice as high

Affordability a problem for people in their 50s

Affordability a problem for younger people too

Policies with fewer benefits

About 97 percent of residents now have insurance because of the mandate

Medical debt is still a burden for many

Postponing treatments or filling prescriptions because of high costs or previous bills

Money troubles for safety net providers

Not all dentists will see newly insured patients