Graduate Degree: Harvard Medical School
Undergraduate Degree: Miami University
Areas of interest: Health Care Policy
Mentor: Phyllis Rappaport, Chair, Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation
Agency: Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector
Supervisor: Eric Dahlberg, Connector Associate and Kaitlyn Kenney Walsh, Senior Policy Analyst
Project description: Jessica spent her summer working at the Commonwealth Health Connector Authority on a number of different projects. Although her original project proposal had been to examine the impact of the 2006 health reforms on realized health access in Massachusetts (particularly in relation to affordability, premium levels, and out-of-pocket payments), she encountered some data availability problems since the data she needed was not scheduled to be released until the fall. As such, she shifted her focus to working on a national health reform project, which worked out perfectly since insurance market regulation has long been a research interest of hers. As part of her project for the Connector, she examined the impact proposed federal legislation would have on the Connector and suggested ways the Connector could adapt. Her final products were a comparative grid and draft for a white paper on this issue which can be found online at https://www.mahealthconnector.org/portal/site/connector/
Jessica mentions this regarding the fellowship: "I really enjoyed my summer as a Rappaport fellow, as I had a great time and learned a lot. When I was studying in England, I had written my Master’s dissertation on whether managed competition could be scaled up to the national level in the US, using the 2006 Dutch and Massachusetts reforms as my case studies. This summer was great because I got to see what managed competition looked like in practice. I learned the different ways that markets for health insurance could be structured and the pitfalls of various models. Thus, the Connector was the perfect place to work to get exposure to this intriguing intersection of health care, policy, law, and the private sector. Finally, one of my favorite parts of the summer was the time I got to spend taking field trips with the other Rappaport Fellows. This program brings together a great group of students, and Polly and David were invaluable guides through this experience."