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State Representative Paul Thissen

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Posted: Jun 11 2014 12:38PM
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Press/News Releases

MNsure, Affordable Care Act Lower Minnesota’s Uninsured Rate by 40 Percent


St. Paul, Minnesota — A new report released today by the University of Minnesota’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center found that MNsure, the state’s health insurance exchange, helped lower the number of uninsured Minnesotans by 40.6 percent. The report is the first of its kind to measure the Affordable Care Act’s impact on states.

The number of uninsured Minnesotans fell by nearly 180,500, from 445,000 to 264,500. The percentage of Minnesotans without health insurance fell from 8.2 percent to 4.9 percent, the lowest in state history and second lowest in nation to Massachusetts. Because more insured people means less uncompensated care, today's report is great news for hospitals, counties, property taxpayers, Minnesotans currently insured, and the State of Minnesota's budget. Also worth noting is than many of the newly insured are children.

“For the first time in a long while, we’re finally bringing down the number of uninsured Minnesotans in a substantial way,” said state Representative Joe Atkins, House author of the MNsure legislation. “Minnesotans have been able to take advantage of our lowest premiums in the nation to get high-quality, affordable insurance, some of them for the first time in their lives. This is a great, positive step forward for health care reform in Minnesota.”

“In their partisan attacks on MNsure and the Affordable Care Act, Republicans asked time and time again if the uninsured rate is going down. Today we have a clear answer that yes, MNsure is making a huge difference in helping the lives of Minnesotans,” said House Speaker Paul Thissen. “Reducing our rate of uninsured Minnesotans reduces uncompensated care, saving taxpayers, hospitals, counties, and anybody paying for private health insurance millions of dollars a year.”

“Despite the early technical challenges, MNsure and the Affordable Care Act in Minnesota have surpassed their goals and are delivering results for Minnesotans,” added House Majority Leader Erin Murphy. “We know there is more work to be done to continue improving MNsure, but today’s report confirms what we already know: we’re not going backwards. We’re not going back to the days of denials for pre-existing conditions or having your coverage dropped when you get sick. We’re going to continue moving forward with our goal of ensuring every Minnesotan has access to affordable, high-quality coverage.”

Other report findings:

  • Enrollment in state insurance programs, Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare, increased by 155,000.
  • Enrollment in private health insurance increased by about 30,000 people. The number of Minnesotans with private group coverage (primarily employer-sponsored coverage) was relatively stable, but declined slightly, while coverage in the private nongroup market grew both inside and outside of MNsure.
  • The majority of enrollment growth was in state insurance programs, but with an estimated two-thirds of uninsured Minnesotans eligible for public coverage, researchers note that this result is not surprising.

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