Proposal to open access to MinnesotaCare would give Minnesotans more health care options

ST. PAUL, Minn– State Senator Matt Klein, M.D. (DFL-Mendota Heights) expressed support for a proposal that would increase enrollment eligibility for affordable health insurance coverage through MinnesotaCare. “I came to the Senate to explore ways to lower the cost of quality health care for Minnesota families,” Sen. Klein said. “I applaud Gov. Dayton for including this proposal in his budget and am pleased to be a co-sponsor of this in the Senate. Allowing Minnesotans to buy in to MinnesotaCare would create market competition and give consumers another choice – in many cases, a much needed choice in getting health care that works for them at an affordable cost.”

MinnesotaCare is currently available only to Minnesotans who do not get insurance through their employer, or another public program, and earn less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or approximately $38,000 for a family of two and just shy of $50,000 for a family of four. The proposal would allow individuals and families buying insurance on the individual market of any income to buy in to MinnesotaCare. Newly eligible enrollees would pay a premium, like current enrollees, and the program would remain unchanged for those currently enrolled.

New enrollees would be able to leverage the buying power of more than a million people enrolled in public plans, which keeps MinnesotaCare affordable. The average cost would be $69 less per month than the average statewide premium Minnesotans are currently paying for private coverage. “Considering the lack of alternatives, the high deductibles, and the cost-sharing measures in some plans being offered, MinnesotaCare should be another option,” Sen. Klein said.

There would be a one-time investment of $12.9 million, then the program would be funded entirely through premiums paid by Minnesotans who purchase MinnesotaCare coverage. If the plan is approved by April 1, MinnesotaCare plans would be available for Minnesotans to purchase during the 2018 open enrollment period.

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Matt Klein represents Senate District 52 which includes the area spanning parts of Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, the city of Mendota, Mendota Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, and West St. Paul.

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