Minn. to extend health coverage to 16,000 children - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minn. to extend health coverage to 16,000 children

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A top state official says Minnesota has begun implementing a 2009 law with a goal of extending MinnesotaCare health care coverage to 16,000 uninsured children.

Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson announced Thursday that parents whose incomes are below a certain level will no longer have to pay premiums for their children on MinnesotaCare.

The state is also eliminating a four-month waiting period for poor children and allowing parents to enroll children in the program even if they don't sign up for employer-sponsored coverage. The changes became effective July 1.

Jesson made the announcement at a Capitol news conference with Democratic House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, who sponsored the original legislation.

They are highlighting the changes after Minnesota dropped in a national ranking of children's health care coverage.

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