40 Square Cooperative Solutions on course for robust health plan enrollment season

This sponsored post was written by 40 Square Cooperative Solutions

40 Square Cooperative Solutions, an independent Minnesota agricultural health plan co-op providing farm families and agribusinesses access to self-funded health insurance options, is ramping up for its second year of open enrollment running now through December 19, 2018.

Char Vrieze, Executive Director of 40 Square, is thrilled with last year’s enrollment outcome which yielded more than 1,000 individuals, and hopes the co-op’s new options will entice Minnesota farm families to consider getting an estimate for 2019. “One of 40 Square’s goals is helping to preserve the proud traditions of farming to generations to come. We aim to do that with health plan solutions that give farmers more options and a larger network than they would have if buying insurance on their own,” said Vrieze.

Structure of Cooperative and Health Plan

The 40 Square co-op is governed by a board of directors, elected by its members/patrons. Fifty-one percent of governance is members and patrons, 49 percent is investment partners.

Participant members pay into the co-op to self-fund the health plan. Those premium dollars are then placed into a Trust, only to be used for health plan expenses. The Trust is governed by a separate board of directors comprised of members and plan participants. All health plan participants have 100 percent ownership interest in the Trust.

Health Plan Details

In 2019 40 Square will offer seven health plans, including health savings account (HSA) eligible plans. A new high deductible plan has been added that will have the lowest monthly premium compared to other 40 Square plans, giving co-op owners the opportunity to save on monthly expenses. Two other 40 Square plans will also have individual and family out-of-pocket limits reduced for 2019.

Similar to traditional individual 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. Additional benefits being offered include vision, dental and life. Other products to enhance the health plan include hearing benefits, free telemedicine doctor visits, care navigators that help explain tests, claims or billing, and a partnership with Agriplan/BizPlan, which offers the ability to declare medical expenses as a business expense on taxes.

Membership Criteria

To become a member of 40 Square, farm families and agribusinesses must meet certain criteria. They must:

  • Actively work in production agriculture in Minnesota
  • File either Form 1065 or Schedule F with their income tax return or provide direct services to production agriculture in Minnesota. This includes farm corporations and businesses who predominantly receive their income from providing their services to production agriculture
  • Purchase Voting Stock in an amount of $100 (one-time, only for the farm/business/employer)
  • Purchase Common Stock of $1,000 over the first year (one-time, only for the farm/business/employer)
  • Have a minimum of one “Common Law” employee. (In general, someone who you provide a W-2, does not have to be a full-time employee; for example, it may be a spouse who does the farm books)

Membership can be extended to include farm corporations as well as agricultural-related businesses who receive at least 70 percent their income from providing services to production agriculture. All members must commit to a three-year term with a risk of forfeiting all or a portion of their investment if they leave the co-op before their term has expired.


Interested in joining more than 1,000 Minnesotans who call 40 Square their health plan co-op?

Visit www.40Square.coop to learn more about its health plans, doctor network and more, or contact info@40square or 844-205-9579.

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