Health Care Coverage
Children with access to coverage are more likely to grow up healthy, do better in school, and be ready to contribute to the future work force.
Children with health care coverage are more likely to receive regular treatment that helps avoid costly hospitalizations and the associated consequences of delayed care. They also learn better and have higher educational attainment. In 2013, early implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare combined to cover 1.2 million (94 percent) Minnesota children. However, 72,000 (5.6 percent) of children remain uninsured.
Minnesota has long recognized the importance of covering all children and has made strides to reduce the number of uninsured children. However, the state has also reduced access to health care for certain populations. In the past, Minnesota provided coverage for immigrant children living in dire poverty regardless of their immigration status through the General Assistance Medical Care program. But, in 2003, these children were cut from that program and now can only receive coverage for select emergency conditions. In 2015, the state legislature cut $65 million from MinnesotaCare, which tripled families' out-of-pocket costs and increased monthly premiums. These increased costs will hit family budgets hard and deter families from seeking treatment when they need it.
Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota supports providing coverage for every child, regardless of immigration status, restoring cut funding to MinnesotaCare, expanding MinnesotaCare to reach more families struggling to make ends meet, and outreach efforts, including through Bridge to Benefits, to ensure families are enrolled in coverage for which they are eligible.