Working Families Breathe Sigh of Relief as HHS Breathes New Life into MinnesotaCare


February 6, 2013

ContactKate Brickman, SEIU Media Relations Coordinator, | 612-460-1219

SAINT PAUL, MN – Health care workers across Minnesota are breathing a sigh of relief today in response to the announcement by the federal Health and Human Services department that it has developed a timeline for Minnesota and other states who wish who pursue a Basic Health Plan (BHP) option in implementing of the Affordable Care Act. SEIU Healthcare MN, a union of more than 17,000 healthcare workers, released the following statement from SEIU Healthcare MN President Jamie Gulley.

“We are very relieved to see this announcement, which will allow Minnesota to preserve, expand, and improve the MinnesotaCare program through the “Basic Health Plan” (BHP) option created by the Affordable Care Act. Over 130,000 Minnesotans rely on MinnesotaCare each month for affordable, comprehensive health coverage. Without this action from HHS, the parents and children in working families who are enrolled in MinnesotaCare would have ended up underinsured starting in 2014.

“Even with tax credits available through the Health Insurance Exchange, many families would be unable to purchase adequate coverage. This federal guidance allows our state to keep MinnesotaCare and ensure working families have access to quality, affordable health care. Our members – the frontline caregivers in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes throughout the state – see all too often the struggles of working families without adequate coverage. They know that MinnesotaCare has been a lifeline for working people in this state for more than twenty years, and that an improved MinnesotaCare under the Affordable Care Act’s BHP option will remove waiting periods for coverage, eliminate the current in-patient hospital cap, and help thousands more hard-working Minnesotans to access quality coverage when they most need it.

“We are appreciative of Governor Mark Dayton and Commissioner Lucinda Jesson’s persistence in advocating for a continued, improved MinnesotaCare program. We are also grateful for the efforts of the federal delegation, especially Senators Franken and Klobuchar, for ensuring the interests of hard-working Minnesotans are put ahead of the interests of insurance companies. Finally, we would like to thank Senator Tony Lourey and Representative Erin Murphy for leading the charge for the Basic Health Plan here in Minnesota.”


SEIU Healthcare Minnesota unites more than 17,000 healthcare and long term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care throughout the state of Minnesota. SEIU represents more than 30,000 members across Minnesota and is a powerful voice working to improve the lives of all Minnesotans.

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