More than 130,000 hardworking, low-income Minnesotans currently rely on MinnesotaCare for affordable health coverage. MinnesotaCare is a subsidized healthcare plan for those who earn too much to enroll in Medicaid, but not enough to afford regular insurance. As it is currently structured, the program conflicts with the Affordable Care Act -- meaning that up until last week, the likelihood that thousands of Minnesotans would end up with worse coverage (higher premiums and less comprehensive care) was unsettlingly high.
However, on February 6 the federal government announced that not only will Minnesota be able to preserve MinnesotaCare, but the program will actually be improved.
From SEIU Healthcare MN President Jamie Gulley:
"Our members - the frontline caregivers in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes throughout the state - see all too often the struggles of working families without adequate coverage.
"They know that MinnesotaCare has been a lifeline for working people in this state for more than twenty years, and that an improved MinnesotaCare under the Affordable Care Act's BHP option will remove waiting periods for coverage, eliminate the current in-patient hospital cap, and help thousands more hard-working Minnesotans to access quality coverage when they most need it."
Together with the Dayton administration, MN Commissioner of Human Services Lucinda Jesson, state legislative leaders and nearly the entire Congressional delegation (with the exception of Michele Bachmann...), lower-income working people in Minnesota can now rest assured that quality, affordable and accessible healthcare will be available for their families.
Read SEIU Healthcare Minnesota's statement on the news here.