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Ellen Meara, PhD: Hope for Ignored Populations—the Massachusetts Example

Ellen Meara, Associate Professor at Geisel's Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, discusses her study of the Massachusetts health care reform experience and how research has shed light on populations that have been ignored in the past. Meara cites uninsured young adults with mental illness and substance abuse issues as an example and shares that this particular population has been responsive to the coverage now provided by Massachusetts, with the rate of uninsured young adults dropping from 25% to less than 10%. Studies have shown that the use of inpatient settings and emergency room did not rise for young adults with behavioral health and mental illness, and for those that did need to use those services,  the out-of-pocket costs were reduced.