It pays to join the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. Now, being a member of MSGA comes with an additional benefit.
For years, members of Minnesota agricultural trade associations (ATAs) and cooperatives were unable to access health plans through 40 Square Cooperatives Solutions. Through advocacy efforts, that roadblock has been removed. Starting in summer 2022, members of MSGA can now join 40 Square’s health plans – with no stock investment cost – as part of their benefits package.
“We’re very excited to offer this benefit to our members,” MSGA Executive Director Joe Smentek said. “Our board feels this is a special opportunity for our organization, and we encourage all of our members to look at the range of health care options that 40 Square offers.”
40 Square Acting Executive Director Amanda Beavens said the group’s ability to offer members of ATAs and co-ops another health care option could be a game-changer for Minnesota farm families and agribusinesses.
“Over the course of many years, the 40 Square team worked hard to see this become a reality,” Beavens said. “We’re eager to now have the ability to offer our health plans to members of MSGA and other Minnesota ag trade associations and cooperatives. We thank MSGA for investing in their members.”
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 health care fees and/or curbing price increases.
“The difference with 40 Square is we can take ownership in our plan,” said 40 Square Chair Cole Trebesch, who also sits on the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. “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 Mankato-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.
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. All health plans come with a no-cost annual exam.
“MSGA has been a longtime advocate for more affordable health care options. We’re confident our members will see that with 40 Square, members can truly own their health,” MSGA President Bob Worth said. “This new benefit is a win-win for all.”