3/18/2013 TruthToTell: Community Connections- Health Insurance Exchanges under "Obamacare"



This is a repeat of TruthToTell: Community Connection series originally broadcast LIVE on KFAI last Wednesday, March 13th  from the WILDER FOUNDATION and to be televised Monday night at 8:00 on SPNN Channel 19 (St. Paul) and MTN Channel 16 (Minneapolis). Here is the description of that program:

Click here to watch the forum video on YouTube

The second in our series and first of these live broadcasts took place on March 13, originating from the Wilder Foundation Building in Saint Paul near University Ave starting. This important discussion featured key players in the development of the Health Insurance Exchanges mandated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Most Minnesotans now meet their healthcare needs through HMO's – nonprofit Health Maintenance Organizations – groups like BlueCross Blue Shield or Health Partners – or private Fee-for-Service Plans. Many get all or part of their health insurance through their employers – a dwindling benefit for most. Thousands get none of those benefits at all. Several other plans serve us here:

129,000 residents are covered through MinnesotaCare. MinnesotaCare is a publicly subsidized program for mostly working residents with no other access to affordable health care coverage. Members pay a monthly premium on a sliding scale based on their income.

Another 26,000 Minnesotans are covered by the little-known Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, or MCHA. MCHA offers individual coverage to state residents the private market has turned down for insurance because of a pre-existing condition.

Yet another 733,000  – fully 14% of the state's population – are on Medical Assistance, orMA. MA is Minnesota's version of Medicaid. Eligibility is based on income. For example, a single adult making less than $700 a month may be eligible for MA.

Still, nearly 440,000 – about 8% of all Minnesotans – have no health insurance at all.

Come 2014, however, the healthcare landscape in Minnesota will change – dramatically.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was signed into law almost exactly three years ago – March 23, 2010. In 2014, a new way to get health coverage will be what the act calls the Health Insurance Marketplace - what we call Health Insurance Exchanges.

Producer/Host Andy Driscoll and Associate Producer/Co-host Michelle Alimoradi, in concert with community and media partners, are bringing to live audiences – right in their neighborhoods/communities – conversations on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics.

TruthToTell: Community Connections  and CivicMedia/MN are partnering with KFAI community radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners** to present these discussions and dialogues for radio, television and online distribution. Each program is recorded live before a studio audience the second Wednesday of every month and aired the following Monday – in TruthToTell’s regular slot at 9:00 AM on KFAI, 90.3FM, Minneapolis, 106.7FM, St. Paul, and online at KFAI.org, and at 8:00 PM on television on SPNN St. Paul Cable Channel 19, and MTN Minneapolis Cable Channel 16.

KFAI Radio (FM90.3/106.7 and streamed live at KFAI.org) will occasionally air episodes of Community Connections live on selected Second Wednesday evenings at 7pm (check our websites for which). Wednesday was the first of our live productions.


Playlist Tracks: 
SARAH GREENFIELD - Health Care Program Manager for TakeAction/Minnesota and policy lead on Health Benefits Exchanges at the Legislature
PAUL SOBOCINSKI - Rural Health Policy Program Organizer, Land Stewardship Project based in Wabasso, Minnesota
ELIZABETH FROST, MD - Co-Chair, Physicians for a National Health Plan - Minnesota
AUDREY BRITTON - Board Member, Small Business Minnesota
Air Date: 
March 18, 2013