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April 2017

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Boston)

The Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute (MMPI), a program of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, released a new report that presents the results of a study analyzing the impact of the Community Support Program for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness (CSPECH) on the utilization and cost of health care services. CSPECH is an innovative program through which MassHealth reimburses community-based support services provided to chronically homeless individuals residing in permanent supportive housing. The researchers analyzed MassHealth data for a group of 1,300 individuals enrolled in CSPECH from fiscal years 2007 to 2013, finding a "return" of between $1.61 and $2.43 for every dollar invested in the program.

While housing costs are not reimbursable by Medicaid, CSPECH serves as a vital bridge to housing stability for a uniquely hard-to-reach population whose physical and behavioral health needs are often addressed by more expensive forms of acute care like hospital emergency departments.

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky (Louisville)

Kentuckians in 59 counties who were looking for coverage through the health insurance marketplace during the recent open enrollment period could choose plans from just one company, according to a report released by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Only two companies offered plans in another 52 counties, leaving just nine of the state's 120 counties with three companies' plans from which to choose. Some neighboring states had as many as 11 carriers offering plans; West Virginia had just two.

The report shows that the monthly premiums for plans offered through Kentucky's marketplace this year, and the corresponding premium tax credits available to moderate-income Kentuckians to make that coverage more affordable, are lower than both the United States’ average and five of eight neighboring states. For 2017 coverage, the second-lowest priced silver-level plan for a family of four and an income of $60,000 would cost that family $405 per month; the premium for that plan is $939, and the tax credit is $534. The United States’ average premium for that plan is $1,090, with a $686 tax credit.

 The seventh quarterly snapshot from the Study of the Impact of the ACA Imple­menta­tion in Kentucky is available here. Previous snapshots and other special reports from the study are available here.

Interact for Health (Cincinnati, OH)

Interact for Health’s 2016 Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP) asked Ohio adults to rate their general health. Research has found a powerful link between people's response to this question and the predicted length and quality of their lives. In 2016, half of Ohio adults reported that their health was excellent or very good. Three in 10 said their health was good. Two in 10 said their health was fair or poor. This is about the same as in 2015.

Adults with higher incomes or more education were more likely to have better self-reported health. Among those earning more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), six in 10 reported very good or excellent health. That compares with fewer than four in 10 of those earning 200 percent FPL or less. Six in 10 college graduates reported excellent or very good health, compared with only five in 10 adults with some college, and only four in 10 adults with a high school diploma or less education.

To see more information about Ohio adults' opinions about their health and other OHIP results, download the 2016 Ohio Health Issues Poll at

Contact: Susan Sprigg
Phone: 513.458.6609