Minnesota has seen its uninsured rate plunge by more than 40% since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study released this week.
The study, released by researchers at the University of Minnesota, provided the first look at Obamacare’s effect on a single state’s insured rate. It found that the number of uninsured in Minnesota fell from 445,000 (about 8.2% of the population) to about 264,500 (about 4.9% of the population).
The decrease is similar to the effects in Massachusetts after similar healthcare reforms were implemented there in 2006. It’s a larger increase than the Congressional Budget Office has projected for the entire United States — a drop from 54 million under previous law to 42 million under the Affordable Care Act.
“Our findings on the change in the number of uninsured are consistent with national reports of early ACA impact, and with research on the impacts of Massachusetts reforms implemented in 2007 which are quite similar to the access expansion provisions included in the ACA,” the researchers wrote in a summary of their report.
Thus far, there have only been imprecise studies taken on the uninsured rate after the end of Obamacare’s first open-enrollment period. The Obama administration has said 8 million people nationwide gained coverage through private insurance exchanges established by the law, while more than 6 million people have enrolled in the federal Medicaid program since October.
The authors of the study said their findings were consistent with a number of national polls and studies showing a drop in the uninsured rate, including a Gallup survey that showed a drop in the uninsured rate to 13.4%, the lowest the company has ever recorded.
Medicaid expansion was the main driver of the plunge in Minnesota’s uninsured rate. Enrollment in Medicaid and MinnesotaCare, a state healthcare program for the working poor, was responsible for 20.6% of the growth in coverage, or about 155,000 Minnesotans. Meanwhile, enrollment by individuals in private plans jumped by 36,000.
Here’s a chart showing the breakdown in insurance gains:
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