Audrey Morse Gasteier

2007 Public Policy Summer Fellow

May 1, 2007
Graduate Degree:Harvard School of Public Health
Undergraduate Degree:Mount Holyoke College
Areas of interest:Health care reform
Mentor:Rosemary Day, Chief of Staff, Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector
Agency:Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority
Supervisors:Melissa Boudreault, Director of Commonwealth Care, Jamie Hammerling-Bern, Assistant Director of Commonwealth Care, and Robert Carey, Director of Planning Development
Project Description:While working at the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority ("the Connector"), a new state agency coordinating the new health care reform in Massachusetts, Audrey designed a study that sought to inform the Connector and other decision makers about the behavior and choices of people between 150% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) who are eligible for state-subsidized health insurance but have not yet enrolled. This population is required to pay premiums and co-payments to be enrolled in the newly created Commonwealth Care plans, but is currently eligible for full free care through the Uncompensated Care Pool (UCP), so there has been some speculation that this will be a difficult population to enroll. She set out to better understand why those who are eligible but haven't yet enrolled have not signed up for coverage and what roll, if any, the UCP plays in that decision. In addition to conducting interviews with community-based health and outreach workers across the state that interface with this population, she developed a survey tool that she used to collect information directly from the population on their decision-making regarding their health care options. The data she collected will assist the Connector in finding new ways to increase enrollment among this population so that Massachusetts can reach more widespread health insurance coverage, the primary goal of health care reform.