Number of Minnesotans without health insurance grows by 18,000

Published 8:10 am Thursday, September 13, 2018

By Glenn Howatt

Star Tribune

The number of Minnesotans without health insurance rose last year for the first time since 2013, when the Affordable Care Act took full effect, according to a major release Wednesday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Some 243,000 Minnesotans lacked health insurance last year, an increase of 18,000 people from 2016, the bureau said.

Still, at just 4.5 percent, Minnesota has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the country. Nationwide, the uninsured rate was 8.8 percent, or 28.5 million people. That was a slight increase from 2016 but it is not considered statistically significant.

Wednesday’s release was closely watched because of recent efforts by the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans to scale back the 2010 federal health insurance law, often called Obamacare. The share of uninsured people in Minnesota and nationally plummeted as the law took effect, and public officials have been waiting to see if that trend reverses in the wake of federal measures to unravel it.

Minnesota was one of 14 states where the number of people lacking health insurance increased last year The rate fell in three states.

In a second major finding, the Census Bureau reported that, nationally, median household income reached an all-time high in 2017 as the U.S. economy completed the ninth year of a long expansion.

This is a developing story; watch for updates throughout the day.

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