Healthcare Coverage for Minnesota's Children Increased Slightly


January 1, 2011

Sept 23, 2010

The number of children without health care coverage is an important indicator of child well-being. When children have health care coverage they are more likely to receive preventive medical services.  This in turn keeps all Minnesota children healthy as they go to school and interact with one another in the greater community. 

Last week the US Census, Current Population Survey (CPS) released new numbers for poverty, income, and health insurance for 2009. While CDF-MN does not use the CPS poverty numbers as the official count of children living in poverty, it does use the CPS as the official count of children living in Minnesota with and without health insurance.

It would seem that despite high unemployment and tough economic times, the number of uninsured children dropped slightly in Minnesota. In real numbers, approximately 20,000 more children received health insurance coverage over the one-year period.

  • 6 percent of children were uninsured in 2008 vs. 5.5 percent in 2009
  • 88,0000 uninsured in 2008 vs. 68,000 uninsured in 2009

The decrease in the number of uninsured children may be a result of enacted measures during the 2009 state legislative session that allowed an additional 22,000 Minnesota children to access state health programs. This is further supported by the declining trend in employer sponsored health care coverage for children in Minnesota:

  • The percentage of children covered by private insurance has decreased from 81 percent in 2003 to 71.6 percent in 2009.
  • The percentage of children in Minnesota covered by public insurance (Medicaid, CHIP, or Military) has increased from 19.9 percent in 2003 to 29.6 percent in 2009.

This is also true across race and ethnicity with the exception of Black children who have seen an increase in private coverage and a decrease in public coverage. Across race and ethnicity:

  • The percentage of children that are uninsured decreased from 2003 to 2008 for Hispanics and Blacks and increased for Asian, multiracial and other groups.
  • The percentage of uninsured White children remained unchanged during this time period.

 

On September 28, 2010, the US Census, American Community Survey (ACS) will release poverty, income, and health insurance numbers. CDF-MN will be releasing the official child poverty numbers and what they mean for Minnesota next week.