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Minnesotans Applying Heavily for State Health Plan

Minnesotans Applying Heavily for State Health Plan

By this year 2009, the rate of enrollment for the state health insurance program at Minnesota has stupendously increased further by 25% than the previous year. This state health plan, commonly known as MinnesotaCare is meant for those residents who are financially challenged and belong to the poor working class of the society.

In the month of July 2009, the applications for MinnesotaCare increased to 43% when judged against with that in July 2008.

The increase in the number of applications for MinnesotaCare is because of the following reasons:

  • The increasing cost of insurance coverage
  • The current economic downturn leading to the rise in the rate of unemployment.
  • Many employers avert from offering health insurance coverage to their workers or force their employees to pay the entire cost of the insurance.

Due to the increasing number of applications, the state health insurance department officials were forced to increase the time needed for processing the applications. Even the phone lines were jammed so that the officials can devote more time for doing the paperwork and addressing the backlog.

The rises in applications were anticipated much earlier by the department officials and therefore they have already appointed 15 fresh processors who are presently undergoing training. Apart from this, preparations are taken to bring in 12 more processors by September 2009.

There were many people whose applications for MinnesotaCare are still waiting for approval. The fact is that these uninsured people may have to wait little longer for availing health care and till then they may have to pay their medical bills.

Another big problem that exists in the approval process of enrollment for MinnesotaCare is that in case the processors detect any missing information in any application, they send it at again at the back of the queue of the existing applications, to deal with them later. This practice further delays the enrollment for several people.

In order to be eligible for MinnesotaCare, the applicant needs to be a resident of the state of Minnesota. In addition to this, the applicant must be unable to avail insurance coverage from his/her employer. Also, the applicants must fulfill a certain low income criteria in order to get entitled for the state health plan.

The entire budget allocated for MinnesotaCare is 532 million dollars and by this year 2009, it will offer coverage to around 117,200 residents of the state. The figure is up by 400 Minnesotans than the year 2008.

For the following 2 years, the rate of enrollment is expected to rise to 11% and the increasing health care expenses will force to increase the cost of MinnesotaCare more by 35%, i.e.715 million dollars by the year 2011.

The cost for supporting the state health program comes from the different sources. They are as follows:

  • The existing members pay nearly 7% of the cost of MinnesotaCare in the form of premiums.
  • The federal government compensates 28% of the cost.
  • Around 67% of the costs are compensated in the form of tax collected from the medical care providers.

In order to have additional information about MinnesotaCare, its application procedures, eligibility, coverage options etc. readers may call 211can or may even visit the official website of the state health department at www.dhs.state.mn.us.

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