Study reveals Minnesota has a low 3.8% uninsured rate

Minnesota’s Uninsured Rate Falls to a Record Low, but Challenges in Healthcare Access Persist

In 2021, Minnesota’s uninsured rate was at 4%, but this number fell to an all-time low of 3.8% last year, as reported by the Minnesota Department of Health. While this decrease is not considered statistically significant, it does mean that approximately 11,000 fewer Minnesotans were without health insurance coverage in the reported year.

The reduction in the uninsured rate is viewed as a positive development by the state, but concerns were raised about barriers to care due to costs and financial protections offered by health insurance. The findings from the Minnesota Health Access Survey revealed an increase in the number of state residents who experienced these barriers. Dr. Brooke Cunningham, the state Health Commissioner, expressed optimism about the overall reduction in uninsurance but noted that healthcare and insurance costs continue to be significant barriers for many Minnesotans.

Minnesota expanded access to health insurance through the state-federal Medicaid program during the COVID-19 pandemic, but some residents have been losing coverage as eligibility checks resumed in the summer of 2021. The majority of uninsured Minnesotans experience long-term uninsurance, meaning they go without coverage for a year or more. However, this group accounted for a smaller number and share of the uninsured population in the most recent survey. They were also less likely to have previously been covered by job-based health insurance. Stefan Gildemeister, director of the state’s Health Economics Program, noted that an 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.

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