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Which Minnesotans Were Uninsured in 2017?March 13, 2018:
Recent findings from the biennial Minnesota Health Access Survey show that Minnesota’s uninsurance rate grew significantly from 4.3 percent in 2015 to 6.3 percent in 2017. However, results also show that uninsurance rates varied among subpopulations in 2017, as did changes in these rates, with coverage holding steady for some populations from 2015 to 2017 while decreasing for others. Similarly, the distribution of various characteristics among Minnesota’s uninsured differs in a variety of instances from the distribution of these characteristics within the state more broadly.
Most Likely to Be Uninsured in 2017
Among Minnesotans, certain subpopulations had higher than average rates of uninsurance in 2017. The highest rates were found among the following groups:
- Young adults, ages 18 to 34 (10.9%)
- People with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines (FPG; 11.3%)
- People with a high school education or less (11.9%)
- People of color and American Indians (13.9%)
Changes in Uninsurance from 2015 to 2017
Changes in uninsurance did not occur uniformly throughout the Minnesota from 2015 to 2017. Variations were seen by income, education, race/ethnicity, and age.
- By income, the largest increase in uninsurance, relative to 2015 levels, occurred among people at 300% FPG or above, although their overall rate of uninsurance remained below the 6.3% state average (5.1% for 301 to 400% FPG, and 3.4% for those at or above 401% FPG) and below that of people at any other income level.
- People with the lowest educational attainment (all categories below a completed college education) saw increases in uninsurance, while uninsurance was unchanged among Minnesotans with college or postgraduate degrees. From 2015 to 2017, uninsurance increased from 12.1% to 20.5% among Minnesotans with less than a high school diploma; from 6.3% to 9.4% among Minnesotans with only a high school diploma, and from 3.5% to 4.8% among Minnesotans with some college or technical school.
- Among racial and ethnic groups, Whites, Hispanics/Latinos, and Asians all saw significant increases in uninsurance from 2015 to 2017, although the magnitude of these increases was higher for Hispanics/Latinos and Asians than for Whites, for whom uninsurance remained below the state average. Uninsurance grew from 3.4% to 4.6% among Whites; from 11.4% to 21.8% among Hispanics/Latinos; and from 4.1% to 10.3% among Asians.
- All adults under age 65, except young adults ages 26 to 34 years, saw significant increases in uninsurance from 2015 to 2017. Uninsurance grew from 6.2% to 11.8% among 18 to 25 year-olds; from 8.2% to 10.3% among 26 to 34 year-olds; from 5.2% to 8.3% among 35 to 54 year-olds; and from 2.8% to 5.7% among 55 to 64 year-olds.
Characteristics of the Uninsured in 2017
The characteristics of Minnesota’s uninsured in 2017 are different in a number of ways compared to the state’s population overall. Compared to Minnesotans overall, uninsured Minnesotans are more likely to:
- Be temporary or seasonal workers (27.4% vs. 9.7%)
- Be self-employed (22.0% vs. 12.5%)
- Work for employers with 50 or fewer employees (60.0% vs. 30.7%).
- Have a high-school degree or less (57.4% vs. 30.1%)
- Be adults aged 18 to 64 (84.9% vs. 61.6%)
- Be born outside the United States (25.7% vs. 9.1%)
- Have incomes below 200% FPG (46.4% vs. 25.8%)
- Be people of color and American Indians (43.9% vs. 19.3%)
- Report fair or poor health (21.5% vs. 12.7%)
- Experience more unhealthy days related to mental health (4.6 days in the last 30 days vs. 2.9 days)
- Lack confidence in getting needed medical care (38.2% vs. 9.9%)
- Report foregoing care due to costs (46.0% vs. 21.0%)
Read the full brief detailing these findings, from SHADAC and the Minnesota Department of Health’s Health Economics Program.