Using Medicaid/SCHIP to Insure Working Families: the Massachusetts Experience
Massachusetts was the first State to implement a premium subsidy program for employer-sponsored health insurance, using both Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funding. The Insurance Partnership (IP) provides subsidies directly to small employers, and the Premium Assistance Program provides subsidies to their low-income employees. Approximately 3,500 small firms currently participate, most of them offering health insurance coverage for the first time. Approximately 10,000 adults and children are covered through the program, the majority of whom had been uninsured prior to enrolling. Massachusetts' successful experience with premium subsidies offers important lessons for other States wishing to implement similar programs.