New census estimates show one in 10 Minnesotans lacked health insurance last year, and more are turning to government programs for coverage.
Data released on Thursday from the Current Population Survey show more than 450,000 Minnesotans were uninsured in 2009, an increase of 100,000 people since the beginning of the decade.
The numbers also reveal a shift in where people are getting their coverage, said Christina Wessel of the Minnesota Budget Project, a non-profit that tracks poverty data.
"A majority of people still get their insurance through work, but that's been declining very significantly and it's been the public programs that have been picking up the slack," Wessel said.
The percentage of Minnesotans under 65 who get insurance through medical assistance has increased from 8 percent of the population to 15 percent since the beginning of the decade. That's an increase of 300,000 people, nearly half of them children.
The worsening economy at the end of the decade played a role, Wessel said, adding that half of the increase happened in the last few years.