Does Minnesota need a Basic Health Plan?

Doctor appointment
Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo, chief of general internal medicine at the University of Miami, is seen in a mirror as he conducts a checkup on Juan Gonzalez at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine.
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When Minnesota lawmakers return to the Capitol in 2013, several health care-related matters await them, as the state moves to implement the federal Affordable Care Act by its 2014 deadline.

The fate of MinnesotaCare - - the state-run health care program for low-income individuals and families -- is one of those issues. Under the Affordable Care Act, enrollees in MinnesotaCare will be among those eligible for tax credits that will help them purchase private insurance through online marketplaces called health care exchanges. The very creation of those exchanges is also a matter lawmakers will have to tackle next year.

The debate also includes a question about people enrolled in MinnesotaCare who might not be able to afford private insurance, even with the tax credits. The state has the option under the ACA of creating what's called a Basic Health Plan. But many details about such a plan, including its cost, are still unknown.

Lucinda Jesson, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, will join The Daily Circuit Thursday, Dec. 13 to discuss whether the state needs or can afford a Basic Health Plan. Christina Wessel, deputy director of the Minnesota Budget Project, and Minnesota Council of Health Plans Executive Director Julie Brunner, will also join the discussion.

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