40 Square health plans available to MFU members without investment
Being a member of Minnesota Farmers Union now comes with an additional benefit.
Members of Minnesota ag trade associations and cooperatives were unable to access health plans through 40 Square Cooperatives Solutions – until now. Starting in fall 2020, members of Minnesota Farmers Union can now join 40 Square – with no stock investment cost – as part of their member benefits.
“We’re extremely excited to offer this benefit to our members,” Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish said. “This is a special opportunity for our organization, and we encourage all of our members to look at the range of health care options 40 Square offers.”
40 Square Executive Director Char Vrieze said the group’s ability to offer members of ag trade associations and cooperatives another health care option could be a game-changer for Minnesota farm families and agribusinesses.
“We’ve worked for so long to see this become a reality,” Vrieze said. “We’re eager to now have the ability to offer our health plans to members of Minnesota Farmers Union without the potential barrier of a financial investment.”
As the state’s only independent agricultural cooperative which exclusively offers health plans, 40 Square is truly first among equals. 40 Square plans are member-owned and member-governed. Unlike large insurance companies, with 40 Square any health care dollars remaining at the end of the year go back to members in the form of enhancing benefits, decreasing premiums and/or curbing price increases.
“The difference with 40 Square is we can take ownership in our plan,” 40 Square Chair and Minnesota farmer Robby Gieseke said. “We can provide a comprehensive health plan at a competitive price for my employees and our families. What’s great about 40 Square is we can sculpt the plan that we see benefits us the most.”
The Minnesota-based cooperative, which began offering health plans in 2018, offers its members a variety of seven comprehensive health plans to choose from, including health savings account (HSA) eligible plans. Similar to traditional health insurance, 40 Square’s self-funded plans have an annual deductible, coinsurance and copays that members are responsible for. The amount of coverage received depends on the plan selected. A large local and national provider and pharmacy network with Aetna supports personal, live customer service. Benefits also include a 24-hour nurse line, as well as 24/7 telemedicine included, with optional mental health and dermatology benefits. Vision, dental and life coverage are all offered as additional optional benefits. Other non-insurance products to enhance the health plan include: hearing benefits, and AgriPlan and BizPlan at a discounted rate, which helps farmers and agribusinesses declare medical expenses as a business expense on taxes, and more.
“We’re confident our members will see that with 40 Square, members can truly own their health,” Wertish said. “This new benefit is a win-win for all.”