Minnesota Single-Payer Impact Study Released
Lewin Group’s Findings:
- A total savings of $35.7 million to state and local governments;
- An average savings of $1,214 per worker, for employers offering health insurance coverage prior to the ACA;
- An average additional cost of $1,963 per worker, for employers not offering health insurance coverage prior to the ACA;
- An average savings of $1,362 for families, including wage effects;
- A reduction of 42,800 Minnesota jobs for those with insurance related job functions; and
- A ten year total statewide savings of $189.5 billion, from 2014 to 2023
Executive Summary from Beyond the Affordable Care Act: An Economic Analysis of a Unified System of Health Care for Minnesota
Minnesota has long been cited as a leader in health care, boasting relatively low rates of uninsured, innovative
programs for low-income people and those with high-risk conditions, a history of cooperation and collaboration to improve outcomes and share best practices, internationally recognized medical research and education, leadership in the med-tech industry and a healthier than average population. Despite being a standout in high value care, these reforms, including innovations in health care delivery, have failed to diminish racial disparities in health or guarantee affordable access to quality care for all Minnesotans. Our health care costs are rising at an unsustainable rate. Minnesotans are losing ground.
According to the latest data, more than 10% of Minnesotans are uninsured and an increasing number of employers are dropping employee coverage. Premium increases are far outstripping pay increases and patients are expected to pay a growing share of health care expenses out-of-pocket. Should the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) survive the court challenge and be fully implemented, it will expand access to insurance, but access will not be universal and a high cost-sharing burden will continue to be placed on patients in order to reduce health spending.
Minnesota should consider reforms that go beyond the critical first steps of the
Affordable Care Act and aim to:
- attain universal coverage;
- assure affordability of health care;
- reduce health care inflation; and
- create a more equitable system, reducing racial and economic disparities.
One option for meeting those goals is the so-called single-payer system, a concept supported by Gov. Mark Dayton in his 2010 campaign. Growth & Justice set out to investigate whether, by moving toward a unified system and thereby reducing fragmentation, administrative complexity, and fraud, and by countering the pricing power of our consolidated insurance and provider markets, Minnesota can establish stable, affordable access to health care for every Minnesotan without increasing total health care spending.
The Lewin Group was contracted to conduct an economic impact study of a unified and universal health care system for Minnesota. Lewin modeled a comprehensive plan covering medical, mental health and dental benefits, eliminating deductibles and coinsurance, while using only minimal copays on specialists, hospitalizations, procedures, and diagnostic tests, with coverage for all Minnesota residents. The modeling used a baseline year of 2014 in order to compare to the economic impact of the ACA.
A unified system, as modeled in this report, entails
- a single system of coverage and pooled risk: everyone is in it.
- a uniform, comprehensive benefit set for everyone.
- a single network of all licensed health care providers, and an end to choice-limiting networks.
- a uniform and streamlined enrollment process.
- uniform pricing, payment rules, and payment methods, with monopoly (one-buyer) purchasing power.
- naturally appreciating financing based on wages or income.
Download Beyond the Affordable Care Act: An Economic Analysis of a Unified System of Health Care for Minnesota (.pdf).