Minnesota's adult uninsured rate hits record low

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The number of adult Minnesotans without health insurance has reached a record low following the introduction of Affordable Care Act programs.

The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that an additional 135,000 people age 18-64 gained medical coverage in the last year. The department's Health Reform Monitoring Survey found that the state's uninsured rate was 6.7 percent in September, down from 10.7 percent a year earlier.

“We know there is a link between access to care and better health,” Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger said in the MDH press release.

"Reducing the ranks of the uninsured by improving access to affordable insurance is a great public health intervention. It not only helps people stay healthy but saves money by potentially preventing more serious and costly health problems.”

The drop in uninsured people follows the launch last year of MNSure, the state's health exchange program created as a result of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

The health exchange has said that so far 50,000 people have signed up for 2015 coverage ahead of its extended deadline of January 1.

Figures from earlier this year estimated that Minnesota's overall uninsured rate –which also includes children and those over 65 – stood at 4.9 percent.

But MPR reports a negative finding from the Health Reform Monitoring Survey, as it revealed that 900,000 Minnesotans – 27 percent of adults age 18-64 – avoided medical care in the past year because of cost worries.

This figure included those with and without insurance.

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