Rate of uninsured adults in Minnesota falls to record low

About 135,000 Minnesota adults ages 18 to 64 years old secured health coverage between 2013 and 2014, a jump that cut the uninsured rate for that group to 6.7 percent.

That's the lowest rate of uninsured measured for that population in Minnesota, the state Health Department said Wednesday.

The latest data come from the Health Reform Monitoring Survey - Minnesota, a Minnesota component of a national survey, the department said. It includes only non-elderly adults ages 18 to 64, and excludes children and those older than 65.

It showed significantly better coverage rates in September compared to a similar study, the Minnesota Health Access Survey, which estimated 10.7 percent of that group was uninsured in 2013, the department said.

Results released Wednesday are also consistent with a June 2014 study estimating a statewide uninsured rate of 4.9 percent across all age groups, the department added.

• June: Federal health law helped Minnesota's uninsured rate drop 41 percent

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Officials pointed to the expansion of Medical Assistance and the implementation of MNsure and health care market reforms driven by the federal Affordable Care Act as reasons why more working adults are covered by health plans.

Minnesota continues to have a higher percentage of the population covered than the nation as a whole.

"We know there is a link between access to care and better health," state Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger said in statement. "Reducing the ranks of the uninsured by improving access to affordable insurance is a great public health intervention."

The survey also found that about 900,000 people or 27 percent of Minnesota adults ages 18 to 64, reported avoiding medical care in the past year because of cost worries. That included people with and without insurance.