DFL trumpets MNsure as Minnesota now has 2nd-lowest percentage of uninsured residents

Categories: Health Care
paulbunyanMNSureFEAT.jpg
Minnesotans didn't like the Paul Bunyan MNsure ads, but they're getting insured nonetheless.
A new study conducted by the University of Minnesota's State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) finds that last fall's MNsure rollout coincided with a dramatic drop in the number of Minnesotans without health insurance.

Between September 30 of last year and May 1, the number of uninsured Minnesotans fell by 180,500, a reduction of 40.6 percent, the study finds. About 264,500 Minnesotans still don't have health coverage, but that's significantly down from 445,000 last fall.

See also:
MNGOP Minority Leader David Hann uses false claim to criticize MNsure [VIDEO]

Minnesota now has the lowest percentage of uninsured residents (4.9 percent) on record, and the second-lowest percentage in the country, behind Massachusetts.

But the researchers behind the study tell us the drop in the number of uninsured Minnesotans doesn't necessarily mean MNsure is a smashing success.

"I want to be clear that our study is not an assessment of how well MNsure functioned," Julie Sonier, senior research fellow at SHADAC, says. "It's well known there were operational difficulties and that's something we didn't address at all."

That said, Sonier went one to characterize MNsure as "much more than a website -- it's also an extensive outreach operation."

"All that public awareness around insurance coverage" was one significant upshot of the MNsure rollout, according to Sonier.

MNsure wasn't even the only public-sector explanation for the drop in uninsured Minnesotans, however.

"This increase in health insurance coverage was primarily driven by an increase in the number of Minnesotans enrolled in state health insurance programs, Medical Assistance (Minnesota's Medicaid program) and MinnesotaCare," a summary of the study notes. "Enrollment increased by over 155,000 for these two programs combined."

The number of Minnesotans insured privately basically remained flat, which indicates, generally speaking, that private employers didn't stop offering their employees health coverage just because of MNsure's availability.

"In the last six months we've have lots of people showing up and enrolling in new coverage that weren't eligible before, and there's quite a bit to be said about the speed of change," Sonier says. "We're not able to evaluate how well MNsure did, but a fair amount of what we saw was primarily about attention to MNsure as well as people becoming aware of the requirements of the law."

The study also didn't evaluate the financial availability of MNsure and other public health insurance subsidies.

"Much of the coverage increase we saw occurred in medical assistance, which is free," Sonier says. "There's also substantial financial assistance for buyers who are buying non-group coverage through MNsure."

Despite the study's limitations, another SHADAC senior researcher who worked on the study, Elizabeth Lukanen, tells us, "We're really excited about this, in part because this is really very first state-level evaluation" conducted since the Affordable Care Act rollout.

"We think the impact is really going to vary from state to state," Lukanen says, adding that the results observed in Minnesota are consistent with what happened in Massachusetts after the state rolled out a health care exchange back in 2007. "So it's in the best interests of everyone to try to do the state-level analysis."

The study summary mentions unanswered questions that researchers tell us they plan to dig into later this year.

"Further research and analysis are needed to answer questions such as what are the characteristics of Minnesotans who gained or lost coverage from different sources, how many Minnesotans who purchased coverage through MNsure were previously uninsured, and what are the characteristics of the remaining uninsured population in Minnesota," the summary says.

Both Gov. Mark Dayton and the DFL House caucus released statements this afternoon trumpeting the study's implications in the context of the political controversy that surrounds MNsure and promises to linger throughout this year's election cycle. To read about them, click to page two.


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20 comments
Mike Giralico
Mike Giralico

Too bad if you lose coverage outside of the enrollment window you have to jump through months and months of hoops to sign up.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

"Much of the coverage increase we saw occurred in medical assistance, which is free," Sonier says. "There's also substantial financial assistance for buyers who are buying non-group coverage through MNsure."


lol  what the fuck is this?


medical assistance is free? is that like talking to some HS dropout on the phone about medical plans???

KennyX
KennyX

"Much of the coverage increase we saw occurred in medical assistance, which is free," Sonier says.


"It is NOT a tax"

-Barack Hussein Obama.


LOL!!

KennyX
KennyX

Because I lost my insurance through my employer due to the mandate ("If you like your plan, you can keep your plan"), I enrolled in MNSure  and I dropped it two months later because the coverage was worthless due to the deductible. I saw the doctor 3 times for routine screening and received a $3000 bill in the mail. Through MNSure I paid $390/mo for insurance and my previous coverage was $50/month with no deductible. Obamacare=FAIL. 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

still doesnt change the fact that healthcare is unaffordable, having insurance mitigates nothing for most standard care

OlWillyClinton
OlWillyClinton

@KennyX How are either of these comments at all related? Do you know what tax he was referring to? I'm guessing not, because your usage of it here is completely incorrect. Parsing a speech, and taking a sentence of it out of context does not make you an effective rhetorician. 

Gary
Gary

@KennyX Aww. The poor widdle shithead known for trolling the boards all day long because he has nothing better to do lost his insurance. What a sad, 100% believable story!

yoopie93
yoopie93

@KennyX I really like your conservative fan fiction, Kenny.  In your next fabricated story, can you include some unicorns as characters and perhaps have it set in the magical world of Atlantis?

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@KennyX You are a racist and a liar.  You've proven it time and time again.  Every time a conservative liar like you starts complaining about Obamacare they get exposed as liars by the media.  Julie Boonstra and Bette Grenier are two well documented cases of Republican liars like you lying about Obamacare.    If you are telling the truth why don't you go down to City Pages with your proof and show Rupar.  I'm sure he will run the story and you can slam Obamacare all you want.   Put your money where your mouth is.   Of course we all know you won't because you are nothing but a stupid racist liar.   You never back up what you say because you are a stupid loudmouth.   

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@KennyX you went to the doctor 3 times already for routine stuff?  you gotta eat better kenny

KennyX
KennyX

@Gary Awwww. And you're just another sheeple who actually believes that Oblundercare is a success. Keep on being spoon -fed those lies that your politicians tell you. It says more about you than them.  

KennyX
KennyX

@yoopie93 What is fictional about my "story"? My fucking premium was $390/mo with a $5000 deductible. 

KennyX
KennyX

@MicheleBachmann Only brainwashed Liberal idiots like you think that Obamacare is a success. Obamacare= An unsustainable product that we are forced to buy at an inflated cost, to pay for all the people freeloading off of the system, for worse coverage, where we can't keep our doctor or our present health care policy, like we were told. Somehow Democrats version of success differs from that of normal thinking folks.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann @KennyX his story seems very plausible, except that he went to doctors 3 times in past few months thats odd.


deductibles are way up, making insurance useless


the failure of obamacare is enlisting the help of insurance companies, their only goal is to extract cash

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@KennyX  Put your money where your mouth is then liar.  Prove it.  Show a reporter.  You never will because you are a stupid racist liar who is never right about anything.   I'm calling you out.   I'm demanding you prove it.   If you don't, it proves you are full of shit.  

KennyX
KennyX

@digitalprotocol You are absolutely correct. Health insurance companies are making record profits due to Obamacare. This is why they never protested the ACA because they knew that they would only profit from it.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann @KennyX why cant you believe him?  how isnt everybody suffering from this same problem 


reporters already know, everyone knows about insurance deductibles and the huge racket going on


costs are not covered by insurance companies unless you shell out your savings account

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