News

Uninsured Rate in Minnesota Drops to 4.1 Percent

Percentage of state residents without health coverage less than half the national rate.

The percentage of Minnesotans without health insurance in 2016 dropped to 4.1 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest annual report on the nation’s uninsured population.
 
The state’s uninsured rate is less than half of the national uninsured rate of 8.8 percent last year, the agency said in its Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2016 report.
 
Some 225,000 state residents were without health benefits in 2016, the report said, compared with 245,000 a year earlier, when 4.5 percent of Minnesotans were uninsured. The state has cut its uninsured rate by half since 2013, when 8.2 percent, or 440,000, people here were without health care coverage.
 
Nationally, the uninsured population dropped to about 28.1 million last year from about 29 million in 2015, when 9.1 percent of people across the country lacked health coverage, the report said.
 
The number and percentage of people with employer-based health care benefits continued to inch up in Minnesota and nationally, according to the Census Bureau.
 
  • About 3.4 million Minnesotans, or 61.8 percent of the state’s residents, obtained health coverage from their employers last year compared with 3.3 million, or 61.1 percent, in 2015.
  • In the U.S., about 173.9 million people, or 54.7 percent, of the population had employer-based health coverage last year compared with about 172.3 million, or 54.4 percent, in 2015.
 
The Census Bureau report attributed the health insurance trends to the health insurance mandates of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The ACA requires individuals to have health coverage and requires most employers to offer health benefits to their employees.
 
Also of note in Minnesota:
 
  • 929,000 residents purchased private health insurance directly last year, up slightly from 928,000 in 2015
  • The number of residents with Medicaid benefits inched up to 990,000 last year from 988,000 in 2015
  • But the number of residents on Medicare jumped to 882,000 last year from 860,000 in 2015
 
“Changes in the rate of health insurance coverage and the distribution of coverage types may reflect economic trends, shifts in the demographic composition of the population, and policy changes that affect access to health care,” the Census Bureau said.
 
To learn more about trends in employer-based health insurance coverage, read “The Death Of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Is Greatly Exaggerated” in Twin Cities Business.