A new program could provide health coverage for thousands of small business employees in northeastern Minnesota.
The $2 million cost of a pilot program is split between the state and a Duluth-based non-profit, Generations Health Care Initiatives.
The HealthShare program would cover workers at qualifying businesses that have not provided health insurance in the past year.
The employee would pay as little as $53 a month, while the employer would pay $60.
Spokesperson Jenny Peterson said HealthShare would also help pay the cost.
"This is what we call a multiple share model. And the model really is the community taking an ownership in this issue too. So, we have the employer contributing something to the cost, the employee, and also the community contributes," Peterson said. HealthShare is not an insurance program, and it won't be available outside the Duluth area. The project will be expanding to the rest of St. Louis, Lake, Cook and Carlton counties.