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If the measure becomes law, it may compromise some insurance cooperatives that provide health insurance for local government employers.
(Published Mar 11, 2013)
A bill that would pool school employees into a statewide health plan has advanced in committees in the House and Senate. The proposal has been a high priority for Education Minnesota, the association that represents public school teachers.
Proponents for the legislation, HF 573 (Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter) and SF 446 (Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis), argue that a statewide pool would lower health insurance premiums for all school employees. Opponents believe the measure, if enacted, would raise costs for many school districts, which currently have the option of negotiating with other districts as cooperatives.
The League testified that although the bill does not appear to impact cities directly, the loss of schools in the service cooperatives throughout the state could have a very negative impact on those cooperatives, many of which serve local units of government. Some of them might be forced out of the market by the loss of school district employees. Smaller cities depend on these cooperatives to obtain affordable insurance for their employees and have very few good alternatives.
The bill has passed through the Commerce committees in both legislative bodies. The League will continue to monitor this legislation and will keep cities informed of its progress.
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Contact Anne Finn
Assistant IGR Director
(651) 281-1263 or (800) 925-1122
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