Minnesota cooperative healthcare provider sees strength in numbers


Minnesota cooperative healthcare provider sees strength in numbers

The executive director of a cooperative providing health plans exclusively to Minnesota farmers and agribusinesses says there’s strength in numbers.

Char Vrieze tells Brownfield the point of creating 40 Square Cooperative Solutions was to allow the ag community to collectively address the cost, legal and regulatory hurdles associated with healthcare.

“A lot of larger employers have that purchasing power, so to speak. But as an individual farm or individual agribusiness, you can’t gain those economies of scale.”

She says choices are even more limited with Land O’Lakes ending its farmer coop health plan at the end of the year.

“To see one of those go away is unfortunate, and we welcome those members that are in the Land O’Lakes plan to just come take a look at us. And we’d be happy to be a potential option for them.”

Legislation passed in 2017 opened the door for both 40 Square and Land O’Lakes to offer self-funded cooperative health insurance to farmers in the state.

Vrieze says four of 40 Square’s seven health plans are health savings account compatible.