Skip to main content

More rural Minnesotans have health insurance now

The percentage of people without health insurance is now the same for urban and rural Minnesota, the Health Department says.

The number of Minnesotans without health insurance has been shrinking. And a new analysis from the Minnesota Department of Health says the change is happening fastest in rural parts of the state.

A statement released Monday says among adults younger than 65 in rural Minnesota, 12 percent had no insurance in 2011. That figure was a couple points lower for adults under 65 in urban areas, with the uninsured rate at 10 percent.

By 2015 the rural uninsured rate had dropped to 5 percent – which was the same as the rate in urban areas.

Check out this graph showing the drop, and how the gap has closed:

Minnesota children without health insurance are down to 3 percent in both metro and urban areas, the state figures show. Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger called it encouraging that the rural/urban insurance disparities have been eliminated.

Ehlinger says the rising number of insured Minnesotans is tied to the federal Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) but there's no real proof of what caused it. The state Health Department released three different studies Monday (one, two, and three) looking at changes in rural health care since the Affordable Care Act was passed.

Rural health care issues remain

Most Minnesotans get health insurance through their job. That's true all over the state, but in rural areas the percentage of people who buy coverage on their own or use a public insurance program is higher, the Health Department says.

So when the cost of individual coverage soared this year, the sting was felt in Greater Minnesota especially. The legislature approved more than $500 million in subsidies last month to help those who pay for their own insurance. But high costs and fewer health care options are still a sore spot outstate.

The Minnesota Farmers Union held more than a dozen forums around the state in March and April to find out what was on the minds of rural residents. Health care costs and access were at the top of the list.

The Minnesota Rural Health Association in a February presentation to lawmakers said the state's rural residents are older, have lower incomes and are less healthy ... but their health care options are fewer and farther apart. They say rural areas have half of Minnesota's population but only one-sixth of its doctors practice there.

Next Up

IMG_7030

Watch: Storm updates after heavy hail slams Twin Cities

Sven Sundgaard is providing an update after Thursday's flash hail storm.

kim crockett facebook sos

MN GOP apologizes over antisemitic sequence in candidate's campaign video

Party leader says candidate didn't know the imagery perpetuated an antisemitic trope.

storm, severe

Tornado, severe thunderstorm watches issued in Minnesota

In addition to possible tornadoes, there is a threat for damaging winds and very large hail.

House sale keys door

High prices, stiff competition putting off homebuyers in Twin Cities

Prices continue to rise in the metro, but there are signs of buyer fatigue.

Screen Shot 2022-05-19 at 1.59.51 PM

Series of explosions at manufacturing plant injures 6 in Wisconsin

The blast rocked the Wisconsin town just before 7:45 a.m.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Medford man dies in Le Sueur County crash

The 49-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Denisovan molar

MN researcher part of team behind 'revolutionary' discovery of ancient tooth in Laos

The molar found in a remote cave is believed to have belonged to a Denisovan girl who lived 164,000-130,000 years ago.

Eagle Ridge Middle School

Charges: Sting catches MN principal trying to hire child prostitute

Authorities alleged Mohamed Selim attempted to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex on Tuesday.

cub donuts 1

Nominate a 'local hero' to get a dozen Cub donuts from Salvation Army

The organization is looking for 1,000 volunteers to help with the effort in the metro.

Minnesota State Patrol helicopter windshield broken after duck flies through it.

Duck smashes through chopper window and hits State Patrol pilot

Two pilots were on the aircraft at the time, with one of them sustaining a head injury.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, May 19

It's been 805 days since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Minnesota on March 5, 2020.

Related

Will help be coming for 120K Minnesotans facing health insurance rate hikes?

Even the Department of Commerce said said there's an “urgent need” for reform.

You can get the overdose antidote at your local drugstore now

Minnesota has implemented the new law that makes naloxone available without a prescription.

Minnesotans have an extra week to sign up for health insurance

It's a response to the health insurance relief that was passed last week.

The health care plan people have been calling 'secret' is out now

Senate Republicans released their health care plan Thursday.

On the anniversary of a famous opioid overdose, MN gets money to prevent more

More than $5 million from the federal government will help Minnesota fight opioid addiction.

Republican health plan would save billions, but 24 million more people wouldn't have insurance

The Trump administration doesn't agree with the Congressional Budget Office's report.

Update: Help with health insurance costs is on the way

Not in the agreement? A proposal that would have let health insurance that doesn't meet Affordable Care Act requirements be sold in the state.

MN schools need more mental health services, new report says

A report on student discipline from the Minnesota Department of Education.