Report Shows MinnCare Budget Deficit Projected: $1.4 Billion

Updated: 01/15/2014 10:15 PM By: Jay Kolls

We first reported three days ago Minnesota Care faces a financial crisis, if the Legislature does not make changes and the Federal Government doesn't kick in more money.

Now, a new report, from the Minnesota Management and Budget Office (MMB), says MinnCare is on pace to lose $1.4 billion by the year 2021. For now, MinnCare is fine with a $26 million surplus through 2015. But, then, the MMB report says the financial bottom starts to drop out of the program.

In 2016, MMB says MinnCare will be $362 million in the hole with that deficit ballooning to $1.4 billion by 2021. Supporters of MinnCare say the reason for the budget deficit is two-fold. First, a 2 percent tax on medical care providers will soon be repealed.

Second, the Federal Government has said it will not give Minnesota more money to run MinnCare after 2014, because the state set up its own insurance exchange called MNSure. MinnCare advocates say public officials are lobbying the Federal Government to spend more money on MinnCare in the future and they believe it will solve the budget crisis for the program which has not ended in a deficit in its 22-year history.

MinnCare serves 130,0000 people across Minnesota. It provides health care to low-income working families who also pay a monthly premium to help support the program.