Health insurance status is a key factor affecting access to health care. Adults who do not have health insurance are more likely to have poor health and chronic diseases than those with health insurance. They are also less likely to obtain important health care services including preventive care, primary care, and tertiary care, and more likely to delay getting needed medical attention for illness or injury.

On April 12, 2006, Massachusetts enacted legislation that would provide nearly universal health care coverage to state residents and now more than 97% of residents have insurance coverage. This chapter examines insurance coverage and access to certain health care services before and after the implementation of Massachusetts health care reform.

In this chapter

  • Health Insurance Status
  • Preventive Screenings
  • Residents Who Have a Doctor or Other Personal Health Care Provider
  • Visits to a Dentist
  • Effects of Health Care Reform
  • Policy Perspective: Health Care Access by Robert Restuccia, Executive Director, Community Catalyst and Christine Barber, Senior Policy Analyst, Community Catalyst

For more data or information on topics in Chapter 3:

  • Massachusetts Commonwealth Connector
    This independent state agency is responsible for implementing health care reform by helping Massachusetts residents find health care coverage. The agency also is a good resource for data and background on the state's health care reform efforts.

  • This state agency regularly releases data reports monitoring the impact of Health Care Reform in Massachusetts. Of note are the "Key Indicators Report" which is produced quarterly.

List of figures and tables


This information is provided by the Department of Public Health.