About the Minnesota Health Access Survey Data

This page provides information on the Minnesota Health Access Survey (MNHA).  MNHA is a large-scale telephone survey that collects information related to health insurance and health care access for Minnesota children and adults.  State data is available for years 2001, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.


Which pages include the data?

Population Characteristics: Dental insurance

Dental/Oral Health Service Use (Total Population): Forgone dental care due to cost (children)


What do the data tell us?

MNHA provides representative estimates of health insurance for the state of Minnesota, thirteen geographic regions, and major race/ethnicity groups.  The survey includes the following information:

  • General health status (excellent, very good, good, fair, poor) and CDC Healthy Days Measure
  • Detailed type(s) of health insurance coverage available or held by survey respondents and sources of coverage available to respondent as dependent coverage
  • Gaps in medical health insurance coverage (length of time with or without coverage) and reasons for lack of coverage
  • Knowledge/perceptions about public coverage
  • Health insurance coverage for remaining family members
  • Dental insurance coverage
  • Employment information for all adults in the household:
    • employment status (unemployed or employed)
    • employment type (full-time, part-time, student status, retired)
    • industry
    • number of jobs and total hours worked
  • Educational level (less than high school, high school, some college, college graduate, professional degree)
  • Other demographic data such as poverty level, race/ethnicity, age, sex, geographic region, country of birth and length of time in the United States
  • Access to and use of healthcare
    • Regular place of medical care
    • Number of outpatient/doctor visits in the past 12-months
    • Inpatient stays in the past 12-months
    • Number of outpatient/emergency room care in the past 12-months and reason
    • Any issues finding a doctor and getting medical appointments when needed
    • Confidence in the health care system and perceptions of discrimination experienced based on race/ethnicity, type of insurance/lack of insurance and nationality
    • Affordability concerns that have resulted in delays or not receiving prescription drugs, dental care, routine medical care, mental health and other medical specialties
    • Problems paying medical bills

Why are the data important?

The MNHA data play an important role in monitoring policy-relevant trends in health insurance coverage and informing health policy development in Minnesota on topics such as affordability of coverage, redesign of public program coverage, and evidence of discrimination faced by enrollees in state public programs.


How can we use the data?

  • Document medical and dental insurance coverage over time
  • Identify gaps in health insurance coverage and reasons for not having insurance 
  • Identify medical and dental health insurance disparities by race/ethnicity, sex, age, employment, education, U.S./Non-U.S. born and geographic region
  • Identify barriers to receiving medical care such as lack of insurance, financial difficulty, ability to find doctor or make an appointment, and perceived discrimination

What will the data not tell us?

  • Sources of dental insurance coverage
  • Reasons for not having dental insurance coverage
  • Types of dental care needs that were unmet due to costs
  • Barriers to receiving dental care other than cost

What are the oral health measures/indicators in the data?

Dental insurance coverage: The percent of Minnesotans who reported they had insurance to cover all or part of their dental care at the time of the survey.

Forgone dental care: The percent of Minnesotans who reported that there was a time in the past 12 months when they did not get needed dental care due to costs.


How are the measures/indicators calculated?

  • Dental insurance coverage: The number of Minnesotans with insurance to cover all or part of their dental care at the time of the survey divided by the total number of Minnesotans, multiplied by 100.
  • Forgone dental care: The number of Minnesotans who did not get needed dental care within the past 12 months due to costs divided by the total number of Minnesotans, multiplied by 100.
  • Statistical weights were applied to ensure that survey results are representative of the state's population. 

Which populations do the data represent?

  • Non-institutionalized Minnesota residents

What are the limitations of the data?

  • MNHA is a self-report survey in which the respondent reports either for his/herself or another member of the household, which could result in possible reporting bias.
  • The cross-sectional nature of the survey design limits the ability to determine causal relationships among dental insurance coverage, forgone care and other demographic characteristics.
  • The percent of households that were contacted and participated in the study (response rate) has approached approximately 50% or about 5 in 10 households since 2009.

What is/are the source(s) of the data?

  • Minnesota Department of Health, Health Economics Program
  • University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC)

What are the survey dental/oral health-related questions and response items?

Oral health questions Response options

Do you (DOES TARGET) currently have insurance that pays for all or part of your (TARGET's) dental care?

Yes

No

Don't know

Refused

During the past 12 months, was there any time that you (TARGET) did (INSERT CHOICE) because of cost?  Choice B. Not get dental care that you (TARGET) needed.

Yes

No

Don't know

Refused


How do you measure "uninsurance"?

There are three ways to classify uninsurance:

  1. Point-in-time: respondents who said they did not have health insurance at the time of the survey.
  2. Part-year: survey respondents who said they did not have health insurance during some period of time in the past 12-months.
  3. Full-year: survey respondents who said they did not have health insurance for the past 12-months. 

All three measures of "uninsurance" were collected in the survey, however the point-in-time classification is the measure usually reported in factsheets and other reports on the Minnesota Health Access Survey. 


Can I compare results of the MNHA to other health insurance surveys?

No.  Survey methodologies in the MNHA are different from national surveys that collect health insurance data such as the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey, thus a direct comparison is not advised. 


How should I cite the data and information

Minnesota Department of Health, Health Economics Program. University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC). Minnesota Health Access Survey. Collected by the Minnesota Oral Health Statistics System, Minnesota Department of Health, Oral Health Program, December 2015.


Where can I find more technical information about the data?

Minnesota Department of Health, Health Economics Program, http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/hpsc/hep/hasurvey/about.html

Please send questions or comments to: Minnesota Department of Health, Oral Health Program