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Report: 480,000 Minnesotans Lack Health Insurance.

A new report from the Minnesota Department of Health confirms what we’ve been saying all along in this health reform debate: the status quo is not an option.

The report found that more than 100,000 Minnesotans lost their health insurance between 2007 and 2009, largely due to the bad econom, raising the total of uninsured Minnesotans from 374,000 to 480,000 — 85,000 of those being children under the age of 17.

The survey found that some groups were hit harder than others. More men than women lost their employer-sponsored insurance as sectors that traditionally hire men — manufacturing and construction, for example — were hit hard by the recession. Some 12 percent of male Minnesotans were uninsured last year, compared to 6 percent of females.

Young adults were also far more likely to be uninsured, as were minorities.

Equally worrying was the finding that more people were going without insurance for long periods. Researchers asked respondents if they had been continuously uninsured for the past 12 months; 6.2 percent said yes, up from 4.6 percent when that question was asked in 2007.

So not only are more people uninsured, but they’re staying uninsured for longer.

Under the current proposal for health insurance reform being debated in Congress, 519,000 Minnesota residents who currently don’t have insurance — and 356,000 residence who have nongroup insurance — could get affordable coverage through the health insurance exchange.  An additional 282,000 residents could qualify for premium tax credits to help them purchase health coverage.

Note: This post originally appeared on the ABM blog on Feb 08, 2010.

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