Small Business Owners Learn More About MNsure

By KBJR News 1

June 4, 2013 Updated Jun 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - This fall MNsure, Minnesota's new health insurance marketplace, will begin. It is part of the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in 2010 and it will have a direct impact on small businesses.

Understandably, the owners of those small businesses have a lot of questions. Tuesday during a Duluth Chamber of Commerce forum they had an opportunity to ask them.

Nancy Libersky, Director of the Small Business Administration's Minnesota office and Minnesota Commissioner of Human Services, Lucinda Jesson, attempted to answer those questions.

"The state–based exchange will be [cost] less [to businesses] than the federal exchange," said Jesson, explaining why she believes the state's MNsure program is a better option for small businesses compared to federal insurance options.

The bulk of Libersky and Jesson's visit to the Chamber of Commerce forum focused on MNsure, Minnesota's state–based alternative to the federal healthcare exchange.

Jesson is on the MNsure board. She says MNsure will give employees more options when choosing insurance and, over time, lower prices due to increased competition.

"If plans [providers] know that they have to compete on an apples–to–apples basis for me, the consumer, to make a choice, that should help drive prices down," Jesson said during the forum.

Jesson says MNsure is on track to start on October 1st, 2013.

"I believe in Minnesota, on October 1st, MNsure will be up and running," she said.

Wisconsin businesses have a different set of circumstances, as the state opted out of the state–based insurance exchange systems. Wisconsin will instead defer to the federal government's insurance exchange.

For more information on healthcare reform and small businesses visit the Small Business Administration's website.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.