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Massachusetts health insurance

A guide to affordable health insurance in the Commonwealth

massachusetts guide to health insurance

How healthy is living in Massachusetts. It's the fourth-healthiest state according to the United Health Foundation's 2012 comparison of health status across the 50 states.

The good news:

  • Massachusetts has the lowest percentage of people lacking health insurance in the nation.
  • Cancer deaths in the state have dropped from 206.9 deaths per 100,000 people to 184.4 per 100,000 people over the past 10 years.

Room for improvement:

  • While Massachusetts has a very low rate of obesity among adults compared to other states, about 1.2 million people in the state are obese.
  • Massachusetts ranks in the top ten for the percentage of ninth graders who complete high school in four years.

Best and worst category rankings for Massachusetts:

  • Occupational Fatalities – 1st
  • Lack of Health Insurance – 1st
  • Primary Care Physicians – 1st
  • Violent Crime – 38th
  • Preventable Hospitalizations – 38th
  • Binge Drinking – 40th

For more details see the United Health Foundation’s latest findings on Massachusetts.

Trust for America’s Health is another source for key Massachusetts health quality findings.

In addition, 2010’s federal health reform, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), included the creation of a prevention fund to provide more than $16 billion over the next 10 years to invest in effective, proven prevention efforts, like childhood obesity prevention and tobacco cessation, and the site has a report on how it impacts Massachusetts here.

Get local health results

State snapshot too large? Get county-by-county health rankings for Massachusetts, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin.

Does Massachusetts have
a health insurance high risk pool?

IMPORTANT UPDATE: In 2010, Massachusetts started offering health care insurance coverage to residents through the federally established temporary high-risk pool program. Learn about eligibility here.

Rapidly becoming obsolete as state health insurance exchanges prepare to open, risk pools were state-sponsored programs that helped people who could afford to buy health insurance, but were not able to get underwritten in the private market because of a pre-existing health condition.

Programs varied significantly from state to state in price, benefits and number of people served. Often insurance companies doing business in the state were required to contribute to the pool to keep it in the black.

In the best cases, they allowed people to be able to switch jobs or become self-employed without the fear of losing their health insurance coverage. Read more about risk pools here.

More Massachusetts resources

Massachusetts state health insurance exchange

Massachusetts’s exchange

Find out what your state’s health insurance exchange will look like.


$11.9 million to 163,949 families

Insurance companies were forced to return an average of $140 per Massachusetts family in 2012.


Find out how your member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation voted on health care.

MA state government resources

Children’s Medical Security Plan

For children under the age of 19 who are Massachusetts residents at any income level, who do not qualify for MassHealth (except MassHealth Limited), and who are…

Health Connector — Massachusetts State Health Insurance Exchange

The first-in-the-nation state health insurance…

MassHealth Services

MassHealth pays for health care for certain low- and medium-income people living in the state, including a program for individuals who are HIV positive. MassHealth also manages the Insurance Partnership for small businesses, the Children’s…

State produced health care consumer guides

Publications on health insurance for consumers, as provided by the State of…

MA advocacy resources

Cape Care Coalition

Goal is to create a regional, community-owned health care system to provide all Barnstable County residents comprehensive and affordable health care, delivered through the current and expanded network of…


Working to establish a Single Payer Health Care System in Massachusetts so that all residents of the Commonwealth will have access to comprehensive, quality, affordable and equitable health…

Massachusetts health care reform

Wikipedia page on what’s been called “Romneycare” — the Massachusetts health care reforms which became the blue print for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act…

Massachusetts Health Care Reform Coalition

This site is where you can learn how to help support the new Massachusetts Health Care Reform…

Health insurance for MA individuals

Resources for those individuals seeking health care insurance in Massachusetts. If you are looking for Massachusetts Medicare, visit our site for health insurance over 65.