The MinnesotaCare Public Option allows more Minnesotans to be eligible for MinnesotaCare, on a sliding scale premium. It helps those priced out of affordable health care, specifically focusing on individuals and families, undocumented Minnesotans, and small employers. All Minnesotans deserve access to quality, affordable health care, and if passed, the MinnesotaCare Public Option will make that a reality.
The MinnesotaCare Public Option is a proposal that would make it possible for more Minnesotans to get affordable health insurance coverage. It would allow anyone enrolled in the individual insurance market to buy-in to MinnesotaCare and pay a premium based on their income.
Many Minnesotans struggle to afford health insurance coverage. On the individual market, deductibles for a family can range between $7,000 and $20,000 per year, in addition to costly monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The MinnesotaCare Public Option would provide a public health insurance option to more people, including those who earn too much to qualify for MinnesotaCare, undocumented Minnesotans, and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
The MinnesotaCare Public Option would allow three new groups the option of enrolling in MinnesotaCare: individuals and families earning above the current income limit of MinnesotaCare (200% of the FPG or $55,000/year for a family of four), undocumented Minnesotans, and small employers with 50 or fewer employees. People who are self-employed, small business owners, artists, freelancers, farmers, people in their mid-20s aging off their parents’ insurance, older adults who do not yet qualify for Medicare, people who are uninsured, and anyone who has difficulty affording quality health insurance coverage is most likely to choose the public option.
The premiums for the MinnesotaCare Public Option will vary based on income. State agencies will establish premiums to ensure affordability and prevent sudden increases in cost. Unlike other insurance plans, MinnesotaCare does not differentiate premiums based on age or geography. People who are eligible for MinnesotaCare under the current income limit (200% of the federal poverty guideline) will continue to pay the same premiums.
The MinnesotaCare Public Option will be funded through federal and state dollars, individual premiums, and cost-sharing. The federal government heavily subsidizes the individual insurance market, and this proposal would leverage those dollars toward a public option that provides better coverage at a lower cost to individuals.
Currently, MinnesotaCare contracts with managed care organizations (MCOs) and pays them a monthly premium for each enrollee. The MCOs then contract with providers who negotiate payment rates. The average capitated payment was $485 per month in 2020. The proposed bill includes a delivery transformation study to evaluate the current system and assess provider reimbursement, racial disparities, geographic disparities, and cost to the state.
The delivery transformation study aims to determine whether our current contracts with managed care organizations and County Based Purchasing are resulting in the best outcomes in terms of care management, racial equity, provider compensation, and cost effectiveness. The study will evaluate other options and may consider changing or ending contracts if a better model is identified and approved by the legislature.
You can make your voice heard by contacting your state legislators and urging them to support the MinnesotaCare Public Option (HF96/SF49). Let them know why this issue is important to you and why you believe everyone in Minnesota deserves access to an affordable, public health insurance option.
Minnesotans for MinnesotaCare Public Option Coalition