Health insurance coverage rates are making news in Minnesota and Massachusetts, where officials wonder if their 98 percent coverage rate is the best they can do.
Minnesota Public Radio: Survey: Many Minnesotans Still Without Insurance
A new report shows that the portion of Minnesotans who have health insurance has not recovered from losses that occurred during the recession that ended in 2009. Minnesota's uninsured rate in 2011 remained essentially unchanged at 9.1 percent, despite improvements in the state's job picture (Benson, 3/6).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Uninsured Rate For Young Minn. Adults Drops To 17%
As unemployed Minnesotans found work, they accepted jobs without health coverage or found the plans too pricey, researchers concluded. ... New state and federal health laws, however, allow parents to retain health benefits for their children, regardless of their educational status, through age 26. As a result, the uninsured rate dropped significantly for 18- to 25-year-olds -- from 22 percent in 2009 to 17 percent in 2011 (Olson, 3/6).
WBUR's CommonHealth blog: 98% Mass. Health Coverage 'As Good As It Gets' — Or Is It?
98% of Massachusetts residents have health insurance. That number, a result of the state's 2006 health coverage law, has been more or less the same for the last two years. It is confirmed in the latest report from the Patrick administration. What's new is that the state now says 98% is as good as it gets. From the same report: "Massachusetts may have reached maximum insurance levels based on existing demographics and health insurance characteristics" (Bebinger, 3/7).