MassHealth: The Basics – Facts And Trends

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Rachel Gershon, JD, MPH
Commonwealth Medicine

This overview of the Massachusetts Medicaid program, MassHealth, for the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation answers common questions about one of the state's most important public programs. The report explores questions around eligibility, spending, costs, the program's history and reforms, and also provides a number of illustrative facts, trends, and informative infographics. 

MassHealth provides coverage for more than a quarter of the residents in Massachusetts and serves as a vital insurance safety net for some of the state's most vulnerable individuals. It covers over 1.8 million members, and over the course of the last decade, has seen its annual spend increase to over $15 billion and it continues to inflate at a rate of about 3% a year. As such, one of the most topical points of policy discussion in Massachusetts is on strategies for managing MassHealth costs, specifically in the areas of long-term services and supports and pharmaceutical spending.