ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today 40 Square Cooperative Solutions, an independent health plan cooperative for farmers and agribusinesses in Minnesota, announced it has begun its second open enrollment season and improvements have been put into place for the 2019 health plan year. A new health plan has been introduced for individuals and families seeking a lower cost insurance solution, and out-of-pocket maximums have been reduced on two of the co-op’s seven health plan options. The cooperative also announced there will be no changes to its provider network in 2019.
Char Vrieze, Executive Director of 40 Square is excited for the cooperative’s second open enrollment season. “We started hosting community meetings earlier this year to get the momentum going and people’s minds focused on the open enrollment period, and I definitely think it’s paying off. Everyone that has come to our informational community meetings around the state has been extremely interested in working with an independent co-op that gives them a voice in how their health care dollars are spent.”
The 40 Square Cooperative Board of Directors took comments from members before making the decision to offer a new deductible choice and lower out-of-pocket maximums on plans that are extremely popular with members.
“The great thing about being a member of a health plan co-op is you get a say in what types of health plans you have access to. We heard from members that they wanted a lower-cost plan and were willing to take on more financial responsibility to get a more affordable price point. It’s a true cooperative in action when members can voice their opinions which sets positive change into motion,” said Robby Gieseke, Chairman of the 40 Square Board of Directors.
The 40 Square open enrollment period runs from Nov. 1 to December 19, 2018. 40 Square will continue to host community informational meetings through open enrollment for both current members and interested parties considering joining the co-op. There are currently a dozen meetings scheduled throughout the state during open enrollment, and details can be found on the 40 Square Cooperative website.
With the departure of several large insurance carriers from rural Minnesota counties in 2016, the state legislature sought new health plan solutions for farm families. Several representatives championed the cause for allowing farm cooperatives the ability to offer health plans to members. With the passage of an amendment to Senate Bill 1, agricultural cooperative health plans were allowed to be created in the state of Minnesota bringing new health care solutions beginning in 2018. Today 40 Square covered over 1,000 individuals through its health plan cooperative.
“Health care is expensive, so we strive to give farmers and agribusinesses the opportunity to determine where their health care dollars are spent,” said Vrieze. “We believe this economic backing and strength of the co-op helps preserve the proud traditions of farming for future generations to come.”
For general information about 40 Square cooperative health plans, visit 40Square.coop or call 844-205-9579. Insurance brokers and agents interested in marketing 40 Square health plans can contact Terri Moxley, Director of Benefits and Distribution at agents@40Square.coop.
Square Cooperative Solutions:
40 Square is an independent agricultural health plan cooperative providing Minnesota farm families and agribusinesses the control to manage their health care. The initiative was founded by Cooperative Network, the Minnesota and Wisconsin state trade association of cooperatives, and United Farmers Cooperative (UFC), an agricultural supply cooperative based in Winthrop, Minnesota.