Health insurance

Health insurance in Minnesota:

Health insurance affects health status

Health insurance helps ensure access to health care. People without health insurance are less likely to seek medical care for routine conditions or injuries or receive preventative care. Most adults 65 and older are covered by Medicare or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In Minnesota, typically less than 1% of this age group lacks health insurance. For this reason, the indicators on this page explore health insurance coverage among Minnesotans under 65 years of age. 

Inequities in health insurance continue in Minnesota

The following groups of Minnesotans are less likely to have health insurance:

  • those with lower incomes
  • American Indians
  • people of Hispanic ethnicity
  • young adults (26-34 years) 

Disparities in health insurance coverage affect the health status of these groups. More uninsured people report poor health and have fewer healthy days than the overall population of Minnesota.


Health insurance in Minnesota

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For people aged 0-64. Source: Minnesota Health Access Survey. Group insurance is provided by employers to employees and their spouses and dependents. Non-group insurance (previously called “individual” insurance) is self-purchased and not obtained through an employer. In 2019, the Minnesota Health Access Survey moved from an exclusively random digit dial (RDD) frame to a dual RDD and address-based sample (ABS) frame. See About the data for more information.

The proportion of people without health insurance in Minnesota significantly increased from 2001 to 2011 and then decreased between 2011 and 2015. Increases in health insurance coverage in 2015 were driven by public program expansions along with small increases in both group and non-group insurance coverage.

  • Eligibility expansions under the Affordable Care Act in 2014 likely contributed to the increase in public insurance coverage, especially among children and low income adults. In Minnesota, the two state-based public health insurance programs are Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare, in addition to federal public programs like Medicare.
  • The proportion of Minnesotans obtaining non-group insurance (self-purchased insurance) increased slightly, likely due to the Affordable Care Act provisions that took effect in 2014.

In 2017, the share of Minnesotans that lacked health insurance coverage increased before decreasing again in 2019. Around 5% of Minnesotans under the age of 65 lacked health insurance coverage in 2019. 


Insurance coverage by region

Minnesotans without health insurance, by region

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Region 2019 2017 2015 2013
Minnesota 5.4% 7.3% 4.9% 9.4%
Central 6.2% 7.8% 6.6% 8.8%
Metropolitan Area excluding Minneapolis-St. Paul 4.6% 6.4% 4.6% 7.3%
Minneapolis-St. Paul 5.6% 9.7% 5.7% 13.7%
Northeast 5.0% 6.4% 3.6% 9.9%
Northwest 9.6% 12.9% 4.2% 11.4%
South Central 6.0% 4.7% 5.3% 13.6%
Southeast 5.1% 3.4% 2.9% 6.8%
Southwest 7.3% 10.9% 6.7% 12.9%
West Central 5.2% 8.7% 2.1% 4.0%
These maps are available for download. Percentages are for people aged 0-64 years in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. Source: Minnesota Health Access Survey. For a map of Minnesota counties within each region, see: SCHSAC Regions in Minnesota.

In 2019, the Minnesota Health Access Survey moved from an exclusively random digit dial (RDD) frame to a dual RDD and address-based sample (ABS) frame. See About the data for more information.

In past years, people living in Minneapolis or St. Paul were less likely to have health insurance compared to Greater Minnesota while people living in the surrounding 7-county Twin Cities Metro were more likely to have health insurance than those in the cities of Minneapolis or St. Paul.

In 2019, there are no significant differences in health insurance coverage by Minnesota region. Health insurance coverage improved for people living in Minneapolis or St. Paul between 2017 and 2019: about 6% of people living in the Twin Cities lacked health insurance coverage in 2019. 

For county-level data on health insurance coverage, visit the Population Characteristics Data Query.


Racial inequities in health insurance coverage persist

Minnesotans without health insurance, by race or ethnicity

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Data are for people aged 0-64 in 2019. Source: Minnesota Health Access Survey.
In 2019, the Minnesota Health Access Survey moved from an exclusively random digit dial (RDD) frame to a dual RDD and address-based sample (ABS) frame. See About the data for more information.

Minnesotans that identified as Hispanic or American Indian were the most likely to lack health insurance in 2019. The other categories were not significantly different from each other.


Young men are most likely to be uninsured

Minnesotans without health insurance, by age

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Data are for people of all ages in 2019. Source: Minnesota Health Access Survey.
In 2019, the Minnesota Health Access Survey moved from an exclusively random digit dial (RDD) frame to a dual RDD and address-based sample (ABS) frame. See About the data for more information.

Young Minnesotans between 26-34 years are significantly more likely to be uninsured than the statewide average and this pattern has been consistent over time in the state. The other age groups were not significantly higher than the statewide rate.

The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010, requires health plans and insurers to make coverage available to dependents until the age of 26, with some exceptions. Expansions to the Affordable Care Act in 2014 improved public program coverage. Accordingly, the proportion of adults aged 18-25 without health insurance has declined since 2009, especially among men. This is typically an age group with one of the highest proportions of people without insurance.

In 2019, about 12% of men aged 26-34 and about 9% of women aged 26-34 still lacked health insurance coverage.


The gender gap in insurance coverage

Minnesotans without health insurance, by sex

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Data are for males and females under 65 years and children under 18 years. Source: Minnesota Health Access Survey. In 2019, the Minnesota Health Access Survey moved from an exclusively random digit dial (RDD) frame to a dual RDD and address-based sample (ABS) frame. See About the data for more information.

Over time, the proportion of uninsured males increased from 2001 to 2009, began to decrease in 2011, and then dropped dramatically in 2015. However, the proportion of people under the age of 65 that lacked health insurance increased in 2017 and, while it decreased in 2019, remains higher than 2015 levels. Females tend to have better health insurance coverage than males.

Children generally have better health insurance coverage than the statewide average in Minnesota; about 3% of children (<18 years) lacked health insurance in 2019, which has been stable since 2015.


To see data & measures for other Population Characteristics, see:

 

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