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MA Medical Security Program growth spikes as economy tanks

Boston Globe, December 28, 2008

The economic crisis has produced a tsunami of newly unemployed Massachusetts residents seeking financial help with health insurance coverage. Over the past three months, so many people have signed up for the Medical Security Program, a lifeline that helps middle-and lower-income unemployed residents pay their health insurance premiums, that participation is 73% higher than a year ago. Funded by a tax on employers, the state program pays 80% of a laid-off worker's monthly health insurance premium for almost a year. For those who can't afford to keep their previous insurance, even with the subsidy, the program provides basic health coverage and charges recipients modest copayments of about $15 for a doctor's visit.