Bookmark and Share

June 2014 St@teside

ACA's Early Impact on Minnesota's Uninsured

The University of Minnesota’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) recently released a report, “Early Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Health Insurance Coverage in Minnesota,” that analyzes changes in health insurance coverage in Minnesota since the fall of 2013. Using data from private health plans, MNsure (Minnesota’s Health Insurance Marketplace), the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Minnesota Health Access Survey, among other sources, SHADAC found that, between September 30, 2013 and May 1, 2014, Minnesota’s uninsured population decreased by 40.6 percent. 

Looking at the trends underlying the decline in uninsured Minnesotans, the researchers found that:

  • Enrollment in Minnesota’s public insurance programs, Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare, grew by 20.6 percent;
  • The nongroup market increased by 12.5 percent, which was primarily driven by enrollment in MNsure, but also included growth in the nongroup market outside of MNsure; and
  • Enrollment declined in Minnesota’s high-risk pools, where enrollees were expected to take advantage of lower premium rates available elsewhere, and in MinnesotaCare, which experienced a shift of enrollment to Medical Assistance.

This report, in capturing changes in health insurance coverage in Minnesota just before the MNsure open enrollment period began and one month after it closed, shows the promising early impacts of the Affordable Care Act. However, additional research is needed to identify the characteristics of Minnesotans who gained or lost coverage from different sources; the number of Minnesotans who were uninsured before purchasing coverage through MNsure; and the characteristics of the remaining uninsured population in Minnesota.

Support for this work was provided through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health Reform Assistance Network.