Updated:
Original:

The percentage of Minnesotans without health insurance hit an all-time low in 2015

Author:

The percentage of uninsured Minnesotans has hit an all-time low, thanks to recent health reform efforts and an improved economy, state officials say.

That's according to a Minnesota Department of Health and University of Minnesota report released Monday, which found more than 200,000 Minnesotans – including 25,000 children – gained health insurance coverage between 2013 and 2015.

That's cut the state's uninsured rate roughly in half, from 8.2 percent in 2013 to 4.3 percent last year.

Dr. Ed Ehlinger, the state's commissioner of health, said in a news release, "2015 marked an unprecedented advancement for the health and security of Minnesota families – particularly those who had previously been lost in the gaps of our system.”

Officials touted MNsure, the state's online health insurance exchange, for connecting more people to benefits. The law also requires nearly everyone to have health insurance, with people who aren't covered facing a fine.

The percent of Minnesotans who reported getting their health insurance on their own rose slightly in 2015, with about 10 percent getting their coverage through MNsure.

The percent of Minnesotans who have coverage through an employer remained steady.

There are still racial disparities however

But it's not all good news.

Although all groups – regardless of income or race – saw increases in health insurance coverage (most groups' uninsured rates were cut in half), Ehlinger says disparities remain between Minnesotans of color and their white counterparts.

The disparities may be impacting health-related inequities in the state, the report says, including higher rates of infant mortality and chronic diseases.

“These disparities threaten the health of our communities and our state as a whole, and we need to continue to work on reducing them. All Minnesotans deserve an equal opportunity to be healthy, and access to quality health care services is an important part of that," Ehlinger said in the release.

The report also found about 60 percent of people who don't have health insurance may have been eligible for state public programs last year – and 22 percent of those who are uninsured may have been eligible for premium tax credits through MNsure.

Next Up

Yia Vang - media photo - crop 2

Union Hmong Kitchen will move into Mpls. food hall

Chef Yia Vang said they're "so excited to settle in and have a home."

ISSAboveYou - Duluth North Shore - Oct 18 2021

Watch: Mille Lacs, Duluth captured in stunning video from ISS

The space station provides a vantage point 260 miles above the Earth's surface.

2048px-The_Weeknd_with_hand_in_the_air_performing_live_in_Hong_Kong_in_November_2018

Ladies and gentlemen, The Weeknd has canceled his St. Paul show

He's made changes to his 2022 tour that involves scrapping his Xcel Energy Center gig.

Pixabay - police lights, tape

Man released from custody after admitting to fatal shooting in ND

Authorities said there is no threat to the public.

rochester-water-tower

MN water tower in the running for Tank of the Year

It was the only water tank to receive more than 5,000 votes.

first snow

Any sign of snow in the forecast for Minnesota?

The stars could align for some flurries in northern Minnesota this week, but that's about it.

Flickr - 14 year old vaccine shot - Navy Medicine

Walz announces $200 reward for kids 12-17 who get COVID shots

Those ages have the lowest vaccination rates among all eligible age groups.

Related

Percentage of Minnesotans without health insurance no better than during recession

Health officials with the state and the U of M say the proportion of uninsured Minnesotans is holding steady at nine percent. The job market has improved since 2009, but apparently many of the new jobs do not come with health insurance.