MinnesotaCare Buy-In Would Create Option for Affordable, Comprehensive Coverage, Says Senator Lourey

St. Paul, Minn. – Governor Mark Dayton, Senator Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick), and leaders from rural Minnesota today urged state lawmakers to create a “MinnesotaCare Buy-In” option this session. The proposal would allow all Minnesotans the choice to purchase their health insurance through MinnesotaCare – a state program that for 26 years has provided some eligible working Minnesota families a more affordable choice to purchase their health care.

By giving every Minnesotan this choice, MinnesotaCare Buy-In would expand health care choices for Minnesotans everywhere in the state, increase competition in the individual health insurance market, and save Minnesotans money. The need for MinnesotaCare Buy-In was underscored by recently released data showing that Minnesota’s uninsured rate increased by 46 percent last year alone, due in part to rising insurance costs, leaving approximately 349,000 Minnesotans without coverage in 2017.

“MinnesotaCare Buy-In would bring needed stability to the individual insurance market. It would ensure that people who buy their own insurance – farmers, small business owners, entrepreneurs – have at least one option for affordable, compressive coverage,” said Sen. Lourey. “MinnesotaCare Buy-In received bipartisan support in the Minnesota Senate last year. I look forward to working with my colleagues to build on that progress this Session.”

Sen. Tony Lourey speaks during a press conference on the MinnesotaCare buy-in
Sen. Tony Lourey speaks during a press conference on the MinnesotaCare buy-in

MinnesotaCare Buy-In would reduce costs and improve access for an estimated 100,000 more Minnesotans who purchase their own health insurance on the individual market. Unlike traditional MinnesotaCare enrollees who receive subsidized coverage, individuals who choose MinnesotaCare Buy-In would pay their own way – meaning the cost of their premiums would pay for their coverage.

“Last year, my Administration heard from Minnesotans at town hall meeting across the state who want the choice to purchase health insurance through MinnesotaCare, which has been a source of affordable, quality coverage for Minnesotans for 26 years,” said Governor Dayton. “I urge the Legislature to pass the MinnesotaCare Buy-In this year, to guarantee that all Minnesotans will have another good option for high-quality, more affordable health care, wherever they live.”


A fact sheet about the MinnesotaCare Buy-In proposal is available here:


Audio of Senator Lourey’s remarks are available here (begin at 3:54):



Senator Tony Lourey
Tony Lourey represents District 11, which includes portions of Carlton, Kanabec, Pine and St. Louis counties in the northeastern part of the state.

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