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New bill to help Minnesotans struggling with high healthcare costs

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ST. PAUL, MN -- Rep. Jen Schultz (DFL – Duluth) and small business owners, faith leaders, and health care experts outlined new legislation to help ensure all Minnesotans can access affordable, quality health care.

The MinnesotaCare Public Option would allow Minnesotans to enroll in the program to take advantage of lower out-of-pocket costs and access to a strong network of providers.

“Minnesota families, local communities, and our state’s economy are all stronger when everyone has the health care they need. The MinnesotaCare Public Option builds upon a proven program that has served our state well for nearly three decades to expand coverage to more Minnesotans and help tackle high health care costs,” Schultz said.

“COVID-19 also continues to impact the health of Minnesotans, and many of them worry about themselves or a family member getting the virus. The MinnesotaCare Public Option is a solution for this pivotal moment to ensure everyone can count on the care they need, no exceptions.”

A bipartisan initiative created in 1992, MinnesotaCare provides health care for low-income Minnesotans.

The legislation would allow Minnesotans beyond the current income guidelines to enroll in the program, paying premiums on a sliding, income-based scale.

It also allows small employers to offer MinnesotaCare coverage to their employees and contribute toward the full cost of their premiums.

Currently, many small businesses would like to offer coverage to their workers, but they often find coverage under the small group market unaffordable.

The MinnesotaCare Public Option legislation received its first committee hearing Tuesday in the House Health Finance & Policy Committee.

Kaitlyn Moffett

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