Governor proposes health care overhaul for state workers

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Gov. Tim Pawlenty recently released a set of proposals designed to make the state’s health care system “market-driven, patient-centered and quality-focused.” Pawlenty said the plan will “lead the nation in the development of portable personal health records and expanded consumer-directed health care spending accounts for state employees.”

The plan calls for an online personal health portfolio available to all state workers by 2011. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Finance and Employee Relations (DFER) has been charged with establishing an online system for the state’s 50,000 employees in 2009.

“Right now the consumer is the only person in the system without access to their health care information,” Pawlenty noted.

Pawlenty also directed the DFER to set up a health reimbursement account of up to $250 per state worker and install a debit card system to encourage participation in flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Only 30% of Minnesota state employees currently take advantage of FSAs.

Pawlenty also secured pledges from private health plans to provide price and quality data on a single web site for all health care consumers in the state by January 2009.

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