57,000 Minnesotans Would Lose Health Care Under MinnesotaCare Buy-In, Report Finds

A new report issued Wednesday found that 57,000 Minnesotans would lose their health insurance under Gov.-elect Tim Walz’s (D-MN) proposal to offer a MinnesotaCare buy-in option.

The report, conducted by consulting firm Oliver Wyman, found that 57,000 fewer Minnesotans would have health insurance coverage from 2019 to 2020, an estimated drop in 65 percent of the non-subsidy-eligible market, if the buy-in option moves forward.

Oliver Wyman’s Kurt Giesa presented his firm’s results before the Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee Wednesday, and also reported that health insurance premiums would skyrocket by 52 percent in just one year.

His report noted that while enrollment wouldn’t change among low-income families, middle-class families with an income of roughly $100,000 per year would be hit the hardest.

“Intuitively, we know expanding government-run health insurance will damage the private health insurance market the vast majority of Minnesotans depend on. Now there’s actual evidence to prove that even those who are supposed to benefit will be harmed under the MinnesotaCare buy-in,” Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake), chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, said in a press release.

Additionally, Minnesota lawmakers learned this week that the state will receive $84 million from the federal government in 2019 for its reinsurance program, about $100 million less than what was expected.

“We, literally, lost about $100 million of federal support for the reinsurance program and that needs to be understood as we work through this, and that it is not incorporated,” Sen. Tony Lourey (D-Kerrick) said during Wednesday’s hearing.

Benson blamed the loss in funding on the Affordable Care Act, saying that “the federal government can do this to Minnesota’s insurance because we turned over our nation-leading health care to the federal government.”

“We need to have a fact-based conversation about the best path forward in Minnesota to truly lower the health care for middle-class families,” she added in Wednesday’s press release.

Walz hasn’t responded to the report’s findings, but Lt. Gov-elect Peggy Flanagan (D-MN) indicated during an event last week that the Walz administration will continue to push for a MinnesotaCare buy-in option.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].






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