How an old Massachusetts policy kept people on health insurance

A now-defunct policy in Massachusetts designed to protect people from losing their state-sponsored health care insurance due to lapsed payments worked well, according to a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research and co-authored by several Harvard researchers.

The analysis found that the old state policy called “automatic retention” protected 14% of adults annually from losing health insurance coverage. Jose Figueroa, an assistant professor of health policy and management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, highlighted the paper’s findings in an April 16, 2021, Tradeoffs article.

The working paper was co-authored by Adrianna McIntyre, a doctoral candidate in health policy; Mark Shepard, an assistant professor at Harvard Kennedy School of Government; and Myles Wagner, a doctoral candidate in economics.

Read the Tradeoffs article: An ‘Automatic’ Solution to Keep People From Losing Health Coverage