Does health insurance reduce state death rates?

Health Insurance Expense

A recent study has indicated that as people gain coverage, their risk of dying prematurely drops.

Health Insurance ExpenseThe results of a study in Massachusetts have now been released which indicate that the more people gained health insurance in that state, the mortality rate also lowered at a similar pace.

This study looked into the difference in death rate over a period of four years in the state.

It examined the difference that was made as of the start of the universal health care coverage law in 2006, which required the residents of Massachusetts to carry health insurance. This law was the basic model for the Affordable Care Act. The study was conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, and was released by professors Benjamin Sommers, Sharon Long, and Katherine Baicker.

They found that the rise in health insurance coverage lowered the mortality rate within Massachusetts.

In their study, they stated that “health reform in Massachusetts was associated with a significant decrease in all-cause mortality.” The professors, that is, the authors of the study, did point out that their conclusions are specific to Massachusetts and that it is too early to know whether or not similar results will be experienced in the other states across the country as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

The results of the research were published within the Annals of Internal Medicine journal. Other studies that have been conducted in other areas have also shown that there is little link between an increase in coverage from health plans and the chance for living longer. That said, this most recent study from Harvard does add yet one more solid piece of evidence to a growing overall body that would indicate that when an individual has a health policy, his or her life expectancy increases.

When looking to the country as a whole, the mortality rates vary quite widely from one state to the next, according to the most recent data (2010) from the U.S. Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC). At the same time, the rates of people without health insurance also vary quite widely. This will make it challenging to measure the overall difference made by the Affordable Care Act, over time.

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