40 Square Cooperative Solutions Posts Strong Numbers For Health Plan Open Enrollment

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More than 1,000 lives enrolled in Minnesota’s first-ever independent cooperative health plan

40 Square Cooperative Solutions

It was time to find a solution that stabilized rates and allowed those working in agriculture the opportunity to see a doctor in their local area in addition to first-rate facilities like Mayo Clinic.

40 Square Cooperative Solutions, a Minnesota health care cooperative providing farmers self-funded health plan options, today released enrollment numbers for the 2017 open enrollment season. In its first enrollment initiative, which ran between November 1 and December 20, 2017, 40 Square enrolled more than 1,000 lives in its health plans, which includes nearly 500 employers and their employees, plus family members.

“We are thrilled by the response we received from Minnesota farm families and agribusinesses about the co-op,” said Char Vrieze, Executive Director of 40 Square. “We’ve known for many years that farmers who do not qualify for government subsidies through MNsure were finding their health insurance rates skyrocketing, while provider networks shrunk. It was time to find a solution that stabilized rates and allowed those working in agriculture the opportunity to see a doctor in their local area in addition to first-rate facilities like Mayo Clinic.”

With the departure of many insurance carriers in rural Minnesota counties in 2016, the state Legislature began to plan for a new health plan solution for the agricultural community, and 40 Square Cooperative Solutions started organizing the co-op’s structure for the 2018 open enrollment period. Through an amendment sponsored by Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg), the Minnesota legislature cut government “red tape” in January of last year that was keeping cooperatives from offering health insurance plans, at no expense to Minnesota taxpayers.

“40 Square is extremely appreciative of the support we received from Minnesota lawmakers. The cooperative health plan model has been a big win for both farmers and those involved in production agriculture. We also have to thank our partners, stakeholders and board of directors for their leadership as the co-op was gaining momentum,” said Vrieze. “We are surrounded by a great community of advocates that are committed to helping Minnesota farm families get the health care they want and need.”

Open enrollment for the 2019 season has not been announced, but individuals who believe they may qualify for a special open enrollment are encouraged to contact 40 Square at info(at)40Square.coop or 844-205-9579.

About 40 Square Cooperative Solutions
40 Square is an independent health plan cooperative providing Minnesota farm families the control to manage their health care. The initiative was founded by Cooperative Network, the Minnesota and Wisconsin state trade association of cooperatives, and United Farmers Cooperative (UFC), an agricultural supply cooperative based in Winthrop, Minnesota.

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Colleen McGuire
Colleen McGuire Communications
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