Minneapolis-St. Paul: Community Report

Health Care Market Overcomes Early State Resistance to National Reform

Compared to other metropolitan areas, incomes and private health insurance rates are high in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

After initial state government resistance to national health reform, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area is well on the way to preparing for national health reform, according to a new Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) study of the region’s commercial and Medicaid insurance markets (see Data Source).

Shortly after passage of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) and the Republican-controlled state Legislature vowed to block implementation of many of the law’s key provisions. However, since electing Gov. Mark Dayton (D) later in 2010 and Democrats gaining control of the Legislature in 2012, Minnesota has proceeded with full ACA implementation.

In March 2011, the state opted to expand Medicaid eligibility for childless adults with incomes up to 75 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and will implement the full Medicaid expansion in 2014. The Legislature approved creation of a state-run health insurance exchange in March 2013 known as MNsure. The exchange is expected to be ready for open enrollment Oct. 1, 2013.