MinnesotaCare works for working Minnesotans

Amy Brugh
May 02, 2014

MinnesotaCare plays an essential role in Minnesota’s health care system, even after the creation of MNsure. As we note in our new issue brief, MinnesotaCare: A Vital Part of Minnesota’s Health Care System, this unique program ensures access to health insurance for lower-income, working Minnesotans who lack coverage through their employers and cannot afford it in the private market.

Minnesota policymakers led the way by establishing MinnesotaCare over 20 years ago to provide affordable health insurance that meets working families’ health care needs. It is funded through a combination of federal and state funds, with the state’s portion coming from the Health Care Access Fund, which is funded by:

  • A special state tax on hospitals and providers.
  • Federal Medicaid funds.
  • Premiums paid by enrollees.

The passage of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provided states with an option to create a Basic Health Program. Minnesota policymakers took advantage of this opportunity in the 2013 Legislative Session, and modified MinnesotaCare to operate as the state’s Basic Health Program.

By maintaining MinnesotaCare, our state continues to be a leader in health care. Minnesota was the first state to establish a Basic Health Program, but other states are expected to follow suit.

State policymakers can continue to ensure the long-term sustainability of MinnesotaCare by bolstering the Health Care Access Fund and reinforcing that these funds are for health insurance coverage for lower-income working Minnesotans.

-Amy Brugh