Small Business Minnesota Legislative Alert -Health Care Exchange Alert

Small Business Minnesota

Legislative Alert

 

**URGENT**

Organizations are testifying AGAINST YOU and your small businesses

Dear Small Business Minnesota Members and Friends,

Your attention is needed now to ensure your small business will have access to competitive rates and quality health insurance plans in the future.

As part of the Federal Affordable Care Act, each state is required to establish a state “healthcare exchange” where people can shop and buy health insurance. Our legislature is now debating the provisions of Minnesota’s exchange.

Minnesota has an opportunity to place small business owners, their employees and self-employed individuals together into one risk pool to receive more affordable group rates and to actively ensure quality plans at the best rate as currently proposed in Senate File 1 and House File 5.

Small Business Minnesota is the ONLY group bringing small business owners forward to testify in support of pooled risk and cost-effective, quality plans, also known as the “active purchaser” provision.

Your attention is needed now.

As the legislature works through the healthcare exchange bill, they are being pressured hourly by high-priced lobbyist to keep the status quo. What’s worse is these lobbyist claim they are speaking for YOU. They are not!

It’s easy for legislators to cave to this continual pressure and forget that the vast majority—98 percent!—of Minnesotans are employed by small businesses that are being crushed under the weight of unaffordable health benefits.

Small Business Minnesota is fighting for you. But your legislator and the bills’ authors need to hear from more small business owners.

Please write or call your legislator today. (Scroll down to find a sample letter.)

Many of you have told us that you can no longer afford to provide healthcare benefits to your employees. We’ve heard from small business owners who have lost top talent to big businesses who offer better healthcare coverage at a lower cost. Some of you said that you can barely afford coverage for yourself and your family. Some have no coverage at all.

Despite small businesses being Minnesota’s largest employer, many legislators do not believe small businesses need more affordable rates; similar rates to what big businesses enjoy because they can pool their risks among a large group of employees. Two organizations have testified that the status quo is what is best for small businesses in Minnesota.

We have told them otherwise. Minnesota needs to negotiate affordable rates and quality plans that small businesses can access, if they choose.

We have been researching, testifying, meeting with legislators and have assisted 12 Small Business Minnesota members in testifying so far.

We are fighting for you.

Please consider becoming or renewing your Small Business Minnesota membership today. And forward this to other small business owners. The higher our membership numbers, the stronger our voice.

Thank you for supporting small businesses in Minnesota.

Sincerely,

Audrey Britton

Public Affairs chair

Small Business Minnesota

(763) 280-3316

 

Small Business Minnesota is a nonprofit, nonpartisan volunteer organization advocating for the real needs of small business owners in Minnesota.

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Sample letter for your legislator

Find your legislator by zip code

List of legislators’ emails

IMPORTANT: Be sure to send this letter to Rep. Atkins and Sen. Lourey, bill authors, as well.

Dear Representative/Senator NAME:

I am a small business owner. Small businesses are Minnesota’s largest job creators, but even though as a group we have the largest number of employees we are unable to pool them together to access affordable group rates and quality care.

Therefore, I support HF5 and SF1, The Minnesota Healthcare Exchange. Specifically, I support the provision that allows Minnesota to become an active purchaser as other states are doing.

As part of Minnesota’s largest employer group, I also strongly support the provision that places a small business owner on the Minnesota Healthcare Exchange board.

I also agree with the conflict-of-interest provision that excludes those in the insurance industry from overseeing the exchange.

[Feel free to insert your business’s healthcare story here.]

Thank you for voting in favor of small businesses in Minnesota.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME HERE