BY COUNCILOR REINERT:
WHEREAS, the citizens of Northeastern Minnesota are threatened by the high cost and limits on availability of group health insurance; and
WHEREAS, many have lost their group health care coverage because of the cost increases and coverage regulations that insurance companies impose; and
WHEREAS, only large volume purchasers have enough potential insureds or market impact to effectively bargain for more realistic purchasing options; and
WHEREAS, Minnesota statutes allow employers that are small businesses to pool resources in order to obtain group health insurance; and
WHEREAS, employers in Northeastern Minnesota are working with the state to create and operate a multiple employer welfare association (MEWA) known as Breakwater Healthcare; and
WHEREAS, in order to operate Breakwater will need a $1.3 million guarantee for the solvency reserve required by law and $200,000 for start-up costs; and
WHEREAS, another MEWA in Minnesota has received congressional funding.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the city council of Duluth supports the efforts of Breakwater and requests that Congressman Oberstar, Senator Dayton, Senator Coleman and congress appropriate funds sufficient to provide for Breakwater’s solvency reserve requirement and start-up costs.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that upon passage a copy of this resolution be sent by the clerk to Congressman Oberstar and Minnesota’s two senators.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution encourages congress to fund a local effort to establish an association of small businesses that will have greater purchasing power and will be able to secure more affordable employee group health insurance.