Minnesota’s Uninsured Rate Decreases but Health Care Barriers Remain High

Study reveals Minnesota has a low 3.8% uninsured rate

The uninsured rate among Minnesotans fell to an all-time low of 3.8% in 2021, marking a decrease from the previous year’s rate of 4%. While this reduction is considered a positive development by the state, it is not statistically significant. This means that approximately 11,000 fewer Minnesotans were without insurance coverage in the reported year.

Higher rates of health insurance coverage are generally seen as beneficial for individuals in terms of their ability to access and afford healthcare. However, findings from the Minnesota Health Access Survey revealed an increase in the number of state residents who experienced barriers to care due to costs. Concerns were also expressed regarding the financial protections offered by health insurance.

Dr. Brooke Cunningham, the state Health Commissioner, expressed optimism about the overall reduction in the uninsurance rate but highlighted the dynamic nature of these rates. She noted that insurance and healthcare costs continue to be significant barriers for many Minnesotans. In 2021, Minnesota expanded access to health insurance through the state-federal Medicaid program, which had paused eligibility checks during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some residents have been losing Medicaid coverage as eligibility checks resumed in the summer of that year.

The majority of uninsured Minnesotans experience long-term uninsurance, meaning they go without coverage for a year or more. In the most recent survey, this group accounted for a smaller number and share of the uninsured population. Additionally, they were less likely to have previously been covered by job-based health insurance. Stefan Gildemeister, director of the state’s Health Economics Program, noted that the increase in prior public program coverage among those who were uninsured for shorter periods could indicate challenges in transitioning to other forms of coverage after losing eligibility.

The uninsured rate among Minnesotans fell to an all-time low of 3.8% in 2021, marking a decrease from the previous year’s rate of 4%. While this reduction is considered a positive development by the state, it is not statistically significant. This means that approximately 11,000 fewer Minnesotans were without insurance coverage in the reported year.…

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