Today, Governor Mark Dayton and Commissioner of Human Services Lucinda Jesson announced that UCare health plan is making a voluntary, one-time contribution of $30 million out of their reserves in light of Minnesota's $5 billion budget deficit. The contribution will be paid to the state's treasury.
Governor Dayton, who has been working with Commissioner Jesson and his Administration on this and other ways to achieve cost-savings from existing health care contracts, said "I applaud UCare's leadership in coming forward to make this contribution to the state as we face difficult fiscal choices. I call on the other health plans operating in our public insurance programs to follow UCare's example, to step up and be part of the solution."
Governor Dayton has asked Commissioner Jesson to reach out to all health plans providing public health insurance and request comparable contributions, taking into consideration their earnings in 2010, past earnings on government programs, and current levels of reserves. Dayton and Jesson are committed to obtaining a better value for every state dollar spent, and contributions from vendors such as UCare is one way of achieving this critical cost-savings during tough budget times.
Managed care plans provide coverage for over 524,000 Minnesotans with public health insurance coverage. Five licensed HMOs and three county based purchasing plans participate. Unlike the other HMOs operating in public insurance, UCare serves only low-income and special-needs individuals on public health programs and seniors on Medicare, and does not offer private, commercial insurance coverage. "UCare is making this contribution now because we feel it is the right thing to do, especially in light of the state's severe budget deficit," said Nancy Feldman, UCare's President and CEO.
UCare will provide the funds in July, and the $30 million will go on the bottom line of FY2012.
"UCare has a long history of partnering with DHS. This contribution confirms the partnership and their commitment to public clients," said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson.