Is MNsure Driving Business Out of SE Minnesota?

Posted at: 10/07/2013 5:26 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- With Destination Medical Center on the horizon, there's worry that too high of rates for MNsure will keep businesses out of the med city.
Health insurance costs under Minnesota’s exchange are among the lowest in the nation, unless you live in Southeastern Minnesota. We talked with a local small business owner who is second guessing keeping her business in the area because of this.
"I’d heard that the cost was going to be more here, but I didn't expect it to be so much more,” said Denise Eide, Owner of Logic of English.
Denise Eide is the owner of Logic of English, a startup publishing company that she runs out of her home in Rochester as well as another facility in Bloomington.
"MNsure was a big part of us wanting to offer benefits to our employees in the future and being able to shop around for these benefits,” said Eide.
But even shopping for individual insurance in the area wasn't a pleasant experience for Denise, there's only one available option.
"The price is $1,282 a month for my family,” said Eide. "That's where I discovered that if I just change the zip code I could change the price by $10,000 for out of pocket expenses for my family as a small business owner,” she said.
"There's more than 60 plans in Bloomington that I could choose from ranging from $468 and one goes up to $1,135,” said Eide.
Denise says these numbers make it difficult for a small business owner to choose Rochester over other cities. With Destination Medical Center emphasizing the rise in small businesses, many people see a need for more affordable health care options.
"We were very excited to hear about DMC and we think it's a great idea. It just doesn't seem like it's a viable thing if it costs so much to live here health care wise,” said Ethan Calvert, User Interface Designer, Logic of English.
Diane Eide's company is not based on the local economy, so she says if nothing changes, her business will move out of Rochester.
"It's too large of percentage of our income to stay in Rochester and maintain a business when that could be used to develop products and to hire more employees. So it doesn't make sense when that's something we can change so easily,” said Eide.
We reached out to DMC officials today who were unavailable to do an on camera interview, but did say that this issue should have nothing to do with Destination Medical Center.