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Minn. reports rise in uninsured rate


By Joe Carlson
Posted: February 8, 2010 - 4:30 pm ET
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Less than 60% of Minnesotans had health insurance through an employer in 2009, which contributed to a notable increase in the number of residents without insurance in a state that typically has rates of coverage higher than national averages, a new study indicates.

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Authors of the Minnesota Health Access Survey said the results likely will serve as a preview of other state and national surveys because Minnesota is one of the first states to report academic findings on the rate of uninsured people for 2009.

The survey, conducted jointly by the Minnesota Health Department and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, found that the number of Minnesotans without insurance increased by 106,000 between 2007 and 2009, leaving the state's uninsured rate at 9.1%, compared with 7.2% two years earlier.

Only 57% of Minnesotans had insurance through an employer in 2009, compared with 63% in 2007. That shift would likely have driven the state's uninsured rate even higher, but it was offset by a corresponding increase in public insurance, study authors said.

Nationally, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that in 2008, 15.4% of Americans did not have health insurance, a fractional increase from the 15.3% in the prior year. National rates for 2009 are not yet available.

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