Unemployed may see expanded subsidized health careby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesotans who have lost a job could more easily sign up for state-subsidized health care under a bill introduced in the Minnesota House.
The measure would provide temporary six-month eligibility to MinnesotaCare for anyone receiving unemployment compensation.
It would also waive a four-month waiting period for coverage.
Rep. Paul Thissen, D-Minneapolis, said the loss of a job often means the loss of health insurance. He said most families cannot afford to continue their coverage or end up spending too much of their unemployment check to hang onto health insurance.
"We all know that when people don't have insurance they forego necessary prevention care. They often get sicker. Their chronic conditions deteriorate, which is one of our leading cost drivers. And we as a society are left in a much worse position than we would be if people had access to affordable health care," Thissen said.
The House Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on the bill Tuesday but did not take a vote.
Thissen said his bill needs more work before it is ready for a vote.