BOSTON (Legal Newsline) — Massachusetts Attorney General
Maura Healey announced this week a report examining how health care
spending is distributed in the commercial insurance market in Massachusetts
shows that after controlling for health status, more money is spent on patients
in higher income communities.
“Health insurance is a commitment all of us make to share
the financial burden when some of us get sick,” Healey said. “This report
focuses on equity. It suggests we still have work to do when considering the
fair allocation of health care dollars across our communities.”
The report highlighted three major points of interest.
Health care dollars are concentrated in higher income, healthier communities.
The lowest levels of spending occur in the lowest income communities. And because
the data is adjusted for health status, the higher spending on wealthier
communities does not mean those communities are sicker, older or have more
The report notes a multitude of factors could be driving
spending disparities. Factors could include price differentiation between health
care providers in different neighborhoods and structural and
socioeconomic barriers preventing lower income residents from accessing proper
Additionally, the state’s current approach to
setting health care insurance premiums leads to all taxpayers sharing not just
the costs of caring for the sick but also the cost of certain members choosing
more expensive providers.