KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Minnesota Expanding Health Coverage To 16,000 Kids

Minnesota, after getting federal approval of a 2009 law, will expand health care coverage to more than 16,000 lower-income kids without a waiting period or premiums.

(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Minnesota Health: 16,000 Children To Get Coverage As Law Kicks In
Legislation passed three years ago to let more children obtain health insurance coverage through the MinnesotaCare program is finally kicking in. During a news conference Thursday, July 26, at the state Capitol, officials described changes that started taking effect July 1 and are designed to make it easier for about 16,000 uninsured children to receive coverage through the MinnesotaCare public health insurance program. The state couldn't move earlier to make the changes because it first needed approval from the federal government, said Lucinda Jesson, commissioner for the state Department of Human Services, during the news conference. That approval came last year, she said (Snowbeck, 7/26).

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minn.'s Health Care Safety Net Expands For Thousands Of Kids
Gloria Agbator wept when she heard the news. A single working mother, Agbator has health insurance for herself through her job, but she cannot afford the monthly premiums needed to include her three children on the plan (Brooks, 7/27).

The Associated Press/CBS News: Minn. To Extend Health Coverage To 16,000 Children
Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson and Democratic House Minority Leader Paul Thissen announced the change and others designed to increase children's coverage at a Capitol news conference Thursday, soon after Minnesota slid in a national ranking of children's well-being and health care coverage (7/26).

MinnPost: New Minnesota Health Reforms To Cover 16,000 More Children
The changes began July 1 and will be implemented over the next few months. They say that, with the changes, children from families with incomes below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines ($30,264/year for a household of two and $46,104/year for a household of four) will no longer face barriers to coverage such as the four-month waiting period and access to employer-subsidized health insurance, and will be eligible for MinnesotaCare without premiums (Kimball, 7/26).

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