370,000 Minnesotans in public health programs will have to switch insurers

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Sign-up for two of Minnesota's public health insurance programs will continue as scheduled.

UCare – a health insurance provider with about 370,000 current customers – argues the state’s competitive bidding process for the Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare programs was illegal.

And last month, the company filed a lawsuit against the state, while asking a judge to delay this week's enrollment start.

But in a ruling issued Thursday, Judge Robert Awsumb said there wasn't enough evidence to support UCare's claims the bidding process was unfair and denied the request, the Star Tribune reports.

Enrollment in the programs will continue as scheduled, and the lawsuit UCare filed is set to go to trial in November, MPR notes.

UCare's hundreds of thousands of current customers will have to switch providers, the Star Tribune notes.

The judge said having time to complete that transition also played a role in the ruling, The Associated Press reports.

UCare was dropped as an option from Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare after a competitive bidding process – a move that Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson has said would save $450 million starting next year, MPR reported.

Blue Cross, HealthPartners and Medica got the winning contracts.

UCare, however, says the bidding violated state statutes, and in Ramsey County District Court filed the lawsuit requesting the scheduled Sept. 1 enrollment date for the two public health insurance programs be delayed, the Business Journal reported.

MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance

MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance help provide health insurance for thousands of lower-income Minnesotans.

For MinnesotaCare, the income limit for eligibility is 133 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines – that’s a family of one making about $15,000-$23,000 a year.

It’s funded by a state tax on Minnesota hospitals and health care providers, federal Medicaid funds and enrollee premiums, according to the Department of Human Services.

Those making less are eligible for the separate Medical Assistance program, which is the largest of Minnesota’s publicly funded health program with about 700,000 enrolled, the department says. State and federal funds help pay for it.

Next Up

prison, Rush City cell block

Former Army Green Beret and U of M student sentenced for Russian espionage

Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 46, was sentenced to 188 months in prison.

Miguel Sano

Miguel Sanó's 8th inning blast ends Twins losing streak

The 5-4 victory over the A's snapped a five-game losing streak.

Thomas Humphrey, charged in vaccine thefts.

Viral videos of vaccine thefts lead to charges for MN anti-vaxxer

Thomas Edward Humphrey is a 32-year-old St. Paul resident.

Kyle Imdieke of Osakis, Minnesota.

Community rallies around family of MN coach who died suddenly

Kyle Imdieke was a beloved educator at Osakis High School.

Hinckley crash

Fatal crash that closed north I-35 caused when SUV crossed median

The incident occurred Friday afternoon one mile south of Hinckley in eastern Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 7.17.27 AM

Viral video: Customer argues with Menards worker over store mask policy

The incident happened in Buffalo on Thursday, hours after the CDC issued new guidance on face masks for vaccinated people.

Sylvia Fowles

Phoenix, Minnesota live up to the hype in WNBA opener

Diana Taurasi hit the game-winning shot with 1.1 seconds to play.

Josh Donaldson

Oakland smacks four home runs to extend Twins' horrific start

The A's handed the Twins a 6-1 loss on Friday night.

Hy-Vee

Spring Lake Park Hy-Vee to open by the end of May

A dozen Hy-Vee stores are now located in the Twin Cities metro area.

PXG Store Manager Derek Holmes Qualifies for the PGA Championship

Minnesota golf store manager qualifies for PGA Championship

No word if he'll have to burn some vacation days to play in the PGA Championship!

Related