Massachusetts announced that 84% of people are satisfied with the state's subsidized health insurance coverage and 4% are dissatisfied, a sign of success in the state with the longest experience with mandatory health care coverage.
The Massachusetts Health Connector, the independent state agency that helps residents find health insurance, released a survey that showed 86% of respondents gave high marks to the range of services covered, and the quality of care available, while 82% had similar feelings about the choice of doctors and provider networks. More than 80% percent reported seeing a doctor at least once during the year.
Among members who pay a monthly premium, 63% felt the price was reasonable. Monthly premiums range between $10 and $151 per month. Only 17% reported experiencing problems paying their medical bills.
Among those who qualify for the state' low- or no-cost insurance program, Commonwealth Care, 81% have seen a doctor for regular care at least once since becoming a member. All members have a primary care provider and only 11% reported putting off needed doctor care during the past year. But 31% reported they were told by a provider that they didn’t accept their type of insurance and 23% of members reported being told by doctors they were not accepting new patients.
Commonwealth Care survey respondents used emergency rooms nearly the same as all residents of the state, at about one-third in the past year, and among those who did use an ER, 56% said they needed care after traditional office hours.
The telephone and mail survey of 695 members was conducted last year and had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.7%.
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The National Institutes of Health unveiled a new high-speed robot screening system that will test 10,000 chemicals for potential toxicity. Tox21 was established among several federal health agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration to more effectively predict how chemicals will affect human health and the environment.
The 10,000 chemicals screened by the robot system include compounds found in industrial and consumer products, food additives and drugs. The robot will evaluate if these chemicals have the potential to disrupt human body processes enough to lead to adverse health effects.
The system can test in one day what it would take a year to do by hand. Tox21 has already screened more than 2,500 chemicals for potential toxicity.