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Minnesota House helps Minnesotans maintain coverage during “unwinding” of federal public health emergency

Thursday, March 30, 2023

St. Paul, MN - Today, as the federal government “unwinds” the public health emergency set in place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota House passed Senate File 2265, helping Minnesotans maintain Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare coverage during this process. The bill, authored by State Representative Mohamud Noor (DFL - Minneapolis), passed on a bipartisan vote of 82-44, sending it to Governor Walz for his anticipated signature. 

“As the pandemic subsides, so are the policies that were put in place to ensure Minnesotans received the medical coverage they needed,” said Rep. Noor, who also serves as Chair of the House Human Services Finance Committee. “This legislation helps ensure Minnesotans aren’t falling through the cracks as we return to normal policies.”

In March 2020, the Department of Human Services stopped most annual eligibility renewals on enrollment in public health programs. These changes under Medical Assistance were a condition of receiving enhanced federal funding through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. DHS, in consultation with the federal government, applied the same or similar policies for MinnesotaCare. States will now be starting redetermination processes on April 1, 2023.

The legislation seeks to help ease this “unwinding” of the public health emergency by helping Minnesotans maintain coverage and providing resources for counties. Major items in the bill include $23.25 million in administrative investments related to DHS’s efforts to unwind the emergency; $36 million in funding for counties to assist with costs resuming renewals; and making MinnesotaCare available with no premiums through June 30, 2024.

The bill passed the Minnesota Senate with bipartisan support on Monday. A video recording of the floor debate is available on the House Public Information YouTube page.


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