DFL leadership, which just took control of the state House, announced on Jan. 9 that one of its top priorities for this session is the passage of the MinnesotaCare buy-in.
While the details of this proposal have not been released at press time, recent versions would allow Minnesotans, who are currently ineligible for MinnesotaCare because of income higher than existing thresholds, to purchase MinnesotaCare. Other versions of the proposal have limited the buy-in to areas of the state where there are fewer choices for consumers.
In November 2017, the MMA’s Board of Trustees voted to offer conditional support for a buy-in. The MMA would support it if several conditions are met, including: 1) there is otherwise no access to affordable coverage; 2) there are one or fewer insurance plans available in a county; 3) MinnesotaCare payment rates are set at no less than Medicare levels; and, 4) the premiums paid cover the full cost of enrollment in the program.
While Gov. Tim Walz and the House DFL have indicated their support for the buy-in, the GOP majority in the Senate have made equally clear their opposition to these proposals.