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Proposal would allow Wisconsin Farm Bureau to offer health coverage

A proposal at the State Capitol would allow Wisconsin Farm Bureau to offer health care coverage to its members.

Jason Mugnaini tells Brownfield if signed into law, Legislative Reference Bureau bill 4676 (LRB-4676) could potentially save farmers a lot of money on health care. “Farm Bureau is different. We’re not an insurance company that’s beholden to our stakeholders that are aligned with generating profit. We’re an agricultural advocacy organization trying to provide an affordable product to our members so that they can continue farming.”

Mugnaini says the concept of Farm Bureau offering health care coverage is not new. “There are currently six other states that run a Farm Bureau health benefit plan to their members as a membeship benefit, most notably Tennessee who has been running this plan since 1947.”

Mugnaini says there are other states, like Michigan who offer traditional health insurance through their agents, but this coverage would be different. “We’ve seen this in the other states. We can provide a health benefit that matches what you would be able to get under the Affordable Care Act, but is 30-60 percent less expensive that what you would get with an unsubsidized plan on the Affordable Care Act.”

The legislation was authored by Representatives Tony Kurtz, Clint Moses, and Barb Dittrich along with State Senator Patrick Testin.  It is being circulated for sponsorship in the Capitol until Friday, December 8th.  Mugnaini is urging farmers to contact their legislators and ask them to support the bill.

Along with Tennessee, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Texas and South Dakota already offer similar health benefits through their state Farm Bureaus.  Michigan offers traditional health insurance through its agents.

Audio: Jason Mugnaini with Wisconsin Farm Bureau discusses the proposed health care coverage and the legislation that would enable it (LRB-4676) with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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