Minnesota Leads the Nation in Affordable Healthcare

Governor Dayton released a statement today following a U. S. Department of Health and Human Services report which shows that Minnesota will have the lowest average monthly premiums in the country for those buying health insurance through the health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act: 

“Today is a day of national acclaim for Minnesota’s health care systems.  The federal government reported that our Health Exchange, MNsure, will offer Minnesotans the lowest health insurance rates of any state in the nation.  Our rates are about half of those in Wisconsin and other neighboring states.  And federal subsidies will reduce even further the costs of health care coverage for many Minnesotans.

For years, Minnesota’s health care system has been touted as the most efficient in the country.  This report affirms that statement.  While we have more work ahead to make quality health care more affordable and more available to all Minnesotans, today everyone can take deserved pride in this extraordinary achievement.” [Read More]

Rochester Post-Bulletin - Jobless Rate in Rochester Area Dips in August

The improving job market spread throughout the small towns and rural areas of southeastern Minnesota in August.

In 10 of the 11 southeastern Minnesota counties, the jobless rate was below 5 percent, the first time since November 2007 that low unemployment was so widespread,according to figures released Tuesday by the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The jobless rate in the Rochester metropolitan area hit 4.1 percent in August, down from 4.4 percent in July and 4.6 percent a year ago.

The Rochester metropolitan area consists of Olmsted, Wabasha and Dodge counties.

Rochester's rate remains below the Minnesota rate of 4.8 percent and nationwide rate of 7.3 percent. Those rates are not seasonally adjusted.[Read More]

Insurance Exchange May Solve Minnesota's Pediatric Dental Woes

Zachary Feinberg went to a mobile dental clinic in Roseville last week for his first checkup in six years. So the 14-year-old wasn’t surprised when the dentist he dubbed “Captain Hindsight” told him he’d need two fillings and a root canal.

Like the Stillwater teen, the state received a troubling checkup last week in a report that found that more than a third of Minnesota’s poor children receive no annual dental checkups.

Help could be on the way in the form of MNsure, the state online insurance exchange that launches next month. Because federal policy requires the exchange to include pediatric dental benefits, state officials expect that thousands more Minnesotans will buy coverage and seek long overdue care for their children’s teeth. But they also caution that this expansion of benefits won’t solve all of the state’s dental woes: Many of the neediest children already qualify for state-subsidized dental benefits and don’t use them.

“We need to do more to provide dental care to low-income children. There’s no question about it,” said Merry Jo Thoele, who coordinates oral health planning for the Minnesota Department of Health. [Read More]

September 25, 2013  |  News Alerts

Duluth News Tribune - Jobless Rates for August Improve in the Northland

When it comes to jobless rates, Duluth had its best August since before the recession.

Unemployment dropped nearly a half percentage point to 5.5 percent, the lowest showing for summer’s dog days’ month since 2007.

Duluth wasn’t alone.

The entire Northeast Minnesota area saw declines, including a 1 percentage point drop — from 8.9 percent to 7.9 percent — in Hibbing, according to Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development data released Tuesday.

Unemployment for Northeastern Minnesota slid from 6.5 percent in July to 6 percent in August. The greater Twin Ports area that includes

St. Louis, Carlton and Douglas counties had the same decline.

“They were pretty big drops,” said Jan Saxhaug, DEED’s regional labor market analyst in Duluth. “It went down everywhere in the region. If you look at every county and city where data is kept, it went down." [Read More]


Waseca County News - Unemployment Rate Falls Across Southern Minnesota

The job picture across southern Minnesota continued to show improvement in August as unemployment rates dropped across the region, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Steele County saw its unemployment rate fall to 4.4 percent in August, the lowest the rate has been since October of 2008 when it was also at 4.4 percent. The county's rate also fell to 4.4 percent in November of 2012.

According to DEED figures, it was the fourth-straight month that Steele County has had an unemployment rate below 5 percent. Owatonna, the county's largest city, also saw a decline in its unemployment rate. Owatonna went from 5 percent in July to 4.7 percent in August.

The progress made in Steele County and southern Minnesota was mirrored across the entire state. According to DEED, Minnesota employers added 12,200 jobs in August, which brings the state job total back to pre-recession levels. [Read More]

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