Officials said today that changes coming in the the state’s MinnesotaCare health care program should provide health care to 16,000 uninsured 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.
Elaine Cunningham of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, said: “These changes move us closer to covering every child in Minnesota. Reducing barriers for children under 200% of the federal poverty guidelines creates access to health care coverage for children in low-income working families. We want to ensure that every child grows up to be as healthy as they can be.”
The state says an estimated 415,000 Minnesotans, including 71,000 children, didn’t have health insurance in 2011. Those without insurance are often treated at hospitals, without payment, costing an estimated $311 million in 2010, according to the state Health Department.