MCGA seeks common sense solutions to health insurance concerns

Harold Wolle

Dear MCGA member,

Over the past few weeks, members have shared their stories with us regarding cancelled health insurance coverage and massive premium hikes. What we have heard overwhelmingly from our members is that options are limited and the options that are available are unaffordable, an issue further compounded by a struggling rural economy.

MCGA will be discussing potential solutions to pursue legislatively over the next few months during our grassroots process. Officials from MNsure will be at our Pre-Resolutions event in December, and we hope to engage in a productive conversation. As Minnesota Corn considers how to make a meaningful impact on the issue on behalf of our members, we are open to any and all ideas that move us toward solutions that will deliver the best assistance to our members.  We ask you to help us lead the conversation towards common sense solutions.

Lastly, MNsure sent us information specific to corn farmers regarding the open enrollment period. It is included below.

Sincerely,

Harold Wolle Jr.
President, Minnesota Corn Growers Association


A message from MNsure:

With the changing health insurance landscape, it’s more important than ever to understand your options and to act early. MNsure, Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace, is here to help.

“We are expecting to have a very busy open enrollment—start planning now,” said MNsure CEO Allison O’Toole. “MNsure has more than 1,000 certified brokers and navigators ready to offer free, in-person enrollment assistance, and our Contact Center is prepared for a wave of activity.”

Acting early is especially important this year, since many health insurance companies are enforcing enrollment caps on plans. Minnesota Corn Growers Association members are encouraged to set up an appointment with a MNsure-certified broker today. Find a full list of MNsure-certified brokers at www.mnsure.org/help or call 1-855-366-7873 (1-855-3-MNSURE).

MNsure’s online plan comparison tool is updated with 2017 plan information, allowing farmers and their families to get a head start on picking a plan and seeing what sort of financial assistance they may qualify for. O’Toole notes that as insurance rates rise, so do tax credits, which are available only through MNsure.

“There are about 100,000 Minnesotans who qualify for money-saving measures but are not taking advantage of them because they did not enroll through MNsure last year,” said O’Toole. “In a year with significant premium increases, all Minnesotans should take a few minutes to visit www.mnsure.org and find out what their options are to save money. For people who qualify for tax credits, it can make big difference in their monthly budget. We don’t want anyone leaving money on the table.”

Corn growers with annual earnings up to $47,520 and families of four with incomes up to $97,200 qualify for tax credits. And for those who don’t qualify for financial assistance, using MNsure’s plan comparison tool or working with MNsure-certified broker will at least ensure you enroll in the best possible coverage for you and your family.

The 2017 open enrollment period began November 1, 2016 and ends on January 31, 2017. Small group employers and Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year-round. As of February 2016, 96 percent of Minnesotans have health coverage—the highest percentage in state history.

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