Thursday, May 04, 2017

Lack of health insurance in rural Minn., especially for children, has become much less common

Uninsured rates in Minnesota for residents under 65
(Minnesota Health Access Survey results)
Rural areas in many states have seen larger increases in the number of insured under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and those same areas stand to lose the most if the law is repealed. A study released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Health shows that the state's number of uninsured rural residents under the age of 65 has dropped from 12 percent to 5 percent since 2011, while the uninsured rate dropped 5 points in urban areas. A separate study by the state says that repealing ACA could cost the state $2.5 billion per year and change or eliminate coverage for 1.2 million residents.

The Department of Health found that before ACA, rural children in Minnesota were more likely to be uninsured. Now, rural and urban uninsured rates for kids are now 3 percent. The study notes, "In addition, the gap between urban and rural insurance rates previously seen among people of color and American Indians was eliminated."

Analysis also found that rural Minnesotans have a higher proportion of residents enrolled in the state’s public insurance programs. By 2015, 28 percent of rural Minnesotans under 65 were covered by public insurance, compared to 22 percent in urban areas.

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