Healthcare workers serving persons who receive assistance from Minnesota Medical Assistance and Minnesota Care programs applaud the return of $73 million in health care cost savings to the state by major health plans. The return is thanks to the 1% cap on profits agreed to last year between Commissioner of Human Services Lucinda Jesson, HealthPartners, Medica, UCare, and BlueCross BlueShield.
Pictured: Lucinda Jesson
When combined with the additional one-time return of funds last year by UCARE, over $100 million in HMO profits have already been returned to the state since Governor Dayton took office.
This unprecedented return of taxpayer dollars is the latest in a series of reforms to Minnesota’s health care system, focused on providing better taxpayer value at a better price. It’s also an example of the increased accountability healthcare workers say they have been demanding . SEIU members in healthcare and other industries participated in months of protests in 2011 calling for greater accountability from HMOs.
“Minnesotans sent a loud and clear message that our tax dollars should be spent on care, not on padding the HMOs’ bottom line,” said Julie Schnell, president of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and the SEIU Minnesota State Council. “We applaud Governor Mark Dayton and Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson for their resolute action to increase transparency and accountability in our state health programs; today, we see the early results of those efforts.” added Schnell.
Governor Dayton and Commissioner Jesson negotiated a 1% cap on health plan profits for 2011, and began a move towards competitive bidding for health plan contracts in 2012 and beyond.
“As we continue our efforts to hold HMOs accountable for their impact on state programs, we look forward to our continued work with Governor Dayton to reform our state health care system to ensure every Minnesotan has access to quality, affordable care,” said Schnell.