Though Minnesota ranks No. 3 in the nation (behind Massachusetts and Hawaii) for its percentage of insured residents, the proportion of uninsured non-elderly adults grew to 11.1 percent in 2008 from 9.4 percent in 2001, according to statistics released today by HealthReform.gov, which is operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The numbers come from the latest Current Population Survey in the U.S. Census, which bases its numbers on residents who have been uninsured for at least a year. Other state surveys have shown a lower uninsured rate (7.4 percent) using a different time period, though the trend is similar: The percentage of Minnesotans without health insurance has been steadily climbing since 2001.
If you’re one of those 444,000 Minnesotans who currently lack health insurance, the uninsured rate probably feels more like 100 percent.
At President Obama’s rally Saturday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that while Minnesota can be proud of its low uninsured rate and its higher-quality care for lower costs, there’s still work to be done. “You still have women who are charged three times” the cost of insurance as men, Sebelius told the crowd at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Though HealthReform.gov is promoting the president’s health-care agenda, the site offers a number of documented statistics about the state of health insurance in Minnesota:
• Last year, 290,000 workers didn’t have health coverage. The proportion of uninsured workers was 10.6 percent last year, up from 8.9 percent in 2001. Meanwhile, the percentage of people with employer-based coverage decreased from 84.3 percent of the population in 2001 to 76.8 percent last year.
• 12,000 people from high-income households were uninsured, though HHS doesn’t specify what the income range is.
• Health-insurance premiums for residents of Minnesota have risen 90 percent since 2000.
HealthReform.gov uses the stats to show how Obama’s proposals will affect the uninsured and underinsured. Check it out.