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Minnesota Health Care: A Study of Current Challenges and the Support for State Reform

AARP Member Opinion Research

Although Minnesota residents are doing better than the nation as a whole in obtaining health insurance, there is still much work to be done to ensure affordable, quality health care coverage for all Minnesotans. AARP Minnesota commissioned a survey between October 15 and November 12, 2007, in which 1,018 members ages 50-64 completed mail surveys about health care reform. Key findings include the following:

  • Nearly all members strongly (79%) or somewhat (13%) agree that all residents should have access to quality, affordable, and adequate health care coverage. A quarter of members say they are not very (20%) or not at all (6%) confident that they will be able to maintain their health care coverage at a cost that is affordable to them over the next five years.
  • Half of respondents say it is extremely (5%), very (9%), or somewhat (36%) difficult to pay their out-of-pocket monthly medical expenses. Fifteen percent say that there was a time in the last two years when they needed to see a doctor but did not. Nearly all with health care coverage say it is extremely (80%), very (16%), or somewhat (2%) important for them to maintain this coverage.
  • Over half say they have not seen information comparing doctors, hospitals, or health plans. However, almost four in ten of those who did see this information say it helped them make decisions.
  • AARP Minnesota members expect the Governor and the Legislature to address health care in the state. Over 75 percent say that expanding coverage for the uninsured, improving quality and reducing medical errors, and improving access to health care should be high or top priorities for state policymakers.

Mail surveys were sent to a randomly selected sample of 2,000 members between the ages of 50 and 64. Over 1,000 surveys were returned for a response rate of 51 percent and a sampling error of plus or minus 2.2 percent. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting Erica Dinger of AARP Knowledge Management at 202-434-6176. (19 pages)

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