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Health Finance and Policy Committee Hears from Experts on Medicaid Managed Care

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – On Friday, December 1st, the Minnesota House of Representatives Health Finance and Policy Committee held a hearing to learn about Medicaid managed care from several experts. Presenters explained Minnesota’s complex system for delivering health services to Minnesotans on Medical Assistance (Medicaid) and MinnesotaCare.  

Managed Care is a complex system for delivering health care services to Minnesotans on Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare. The system has been in place since 1985, currently with nine private entities under contract to provide health insurance for a flat fee per enrollee. The system is supposed to save money for taxpayers and improve health outcomes, but there is little research to show whether Minnesotans are getting a good deal for our public dollars or for the health of our population. The committee learned that in 2022 these Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) saw record profits on their Medicaid business. 

“Legislators of both parties want to deliver effective health services to Minnesotans as efficiently as possible, so I hope we will continue to examine the best way to achieve these goals,” said Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL - Rochester), Chair of the committee. “We can save money and improve the health of Minnesotans by delivering care in other ways. I will continue to work closely with my colleagues and policy experts to develop the best policy for our state.”

Approximately 1.4 million Minnesotan–about 18% of the population–are enrolled in Medical Assistance, while MinnesotaCare has about 100,000 enrollees. The State of Minnesota is spending about $7.7 billion annually for the Medical Assistance (Medicaid)-- the second largest spending category in the state's budget.

Experts presenting to the committee were:

Ezra Golberstein, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Policy, University of Minnesota

Lynn A. Blewett, PhD, Professor of Health Policy and Director, State Health Access Data Assistance Center, University of Minnesota

Sayeh Nikpay, PhD, Health Economist, University of Minnesota

Alan Baumgarten, J.D., M.A., Independent Health Care Analyst

Kathryn Costanza, Health Program Principal-Medicaid, National Conference of State Legislators

The full hearing can be found on the House Information YouTube page.


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