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Continued: Delay buys time to clarify health law

  • Article by: JACKIE CROSBY , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 3, 2013 - 9:11 PM

The decision won’t affect ongoing work on MNsure, Minnesota’s new health insurance exchange, which will be available for businesses with 50 workers or fewer.

“We’re evaluating further … but for MNsure, there’s not a whole lot of impact,” said April Todd-Malmlov, executive director of the exchange.

Other elements of the health care law remain intact, including the requirement that all individuals have coverage and that insurance companies provide a basic level of coverage, even for those with pre-existing conditions.

About 80 percent of Minne­sota workers get insurance at work, and many surveys have predicted that companies that already provide insurance will continue doing so.

“All the research around employer-based coverage says that it’s a decision around attracting and retaining the best employees,” Todd-Malmlov said.

But the announcement didn’t seem to curb the uncertainty for business owners such as Dave Svobodny, who has about 46 workers at three Settergren hardware stores in Minneapolis.

The stores offer insurance to full-time employees, which Svobodny defines as those working 40 hours per week. For now, he said he’s sticking to his wait-and-see approach.

“We’re not sure about a lot of things. Do we grow or not?” he said. “As a mom-and-pop business, I’m not going to waste my time until I know what the rules are.”

Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335

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