Association Health Plan

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BenefitsMN thanks all who participated in our Ancillary Benefits Survey earlier this year! Your responses gave us important information that we are using to explore offering a wide range of additional benefits which we hope will begin in January 2025. Again, thank you for your time and support.

On January 1, 2020, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) launched BenefitsMN, a health care coverage option for Minnesota nonprofits!We are thrilled to continue sponsorship of this Association Health Plan for our members, and we remain committed to increasing the vitality of Minnesota’s nonprofit sector.

Throughout MCN’s decades-long history, our members from across the state have asked us to provide health plan options, to help them improve their ability to recruit and retain the best possible staff. By increasing negotiating leverage due to economies of scale, and reducing the administrative burden that comes with offering benefits plans, we believe BenefitsMN helps nonprofit employers better achieve their missions.

At present, BenefitsMN has over 137 participating nonprofits, covering more than 1,300 nonprofit employees and 1,900 people total (including dependents). Our participating organizations are in communities located across Minnesota, work in the arts, environment, human services, and social justice issues, and employ between two and 100 people. Many are new to offering health benefits to staff. As time passes, our numbers continue to grow, giving BenefitsMN even more bargaining power when negotiating for and providing:

  • Coverage for MCN nonprofit members based anywhere in Minnesota
  • Coverage for employers with two or more eligible employees
  • Five high-quality plan options in five regional networks and one national network
  • Attractive rates for a majority of our members
  • Access to Benefits Administration and enrollment platforms

BenefitsMN is proud to partner with Gallagher to manage our plans and enrollment. To learn more about BenefitsMN, including learning about specific rates for your organization and explore enrolling, you will work with a member of Gallagher’s team. Gallagher works with member organizations to optimize the investment in health benefits.

BenefitsMN hasn’t compromised the quality of plan designs or networks in our efforts to achieve lower premiums. BenefitsMN achieves additional value-adds for our member organizations due to our scalability and increased negotiating leverage with our trusted partner Medica. Medica is a Minnesota-based company and among the largest and longest-tenured nonprofit health plans in our state.

For 2024, we are again keeping the plan designs consistent. Working with Medica, we negotiated an average premium rate increase of 2.9 percent. In addition, BenefitsMN continues to include MyHealthRewards Invest, which allows all participating employees to earn up to $900 annually in their HSA accounts.

Note: Any nonprofit — MCN member or not — may request information from Gallagher about the plans. To receive a rate quote and to participate in BenefitsMN, however, an organization must be an active nonprofit member of MCN for a minimum of 30 days.

Get regular updates by following BenefitsMN on:

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What do current BenefitsMN participants say about their experiences?

“We are so grateful to have found a way to offer our few eligible employees health insurance. It has been a game changer for us in terms of attracting and keeping talent.”

“Being able to provide health coverage for employees has given us a greater competitive edge when it comes to searching for skilled and passionate employees.”

“It was extremely easy to implement BenefitsMN. I thought I was missing steps because it was much easier than working with the other providers when we were a large organization.”

“Where before we had one plan to choose from which may not have fit the needs of all of our staff, we now can offer our staff different plans within different networks so every staff member can make the right medical coverage choice for them and their family.”

“We are a relatively small nonprofit, with only two full-time staff and 40 part-time staff. It would not be practical for us to offer health insurance to all employees, but with BenefitsMN we have a cost-effective option that allows us to offer this to benefits-eligible employees. Without this option, we would have lost our best employees.”

Frequently Asked Question about BenefitsMN

How do I learn more about plan options?

To learn more about plans, please visit https://cloud.info.ajg.com/benefits-mn-registration or click the button below to connect with Gallagher Benefits Services, the exclusive broker for BenefitsMN.

If you’d like to speak to a Gallagher representative, contact Jack Duffy at 952-356-3578 and/or jack_duffy@ajg.com or Michaela O’Brien at 952-356-0757 and/or michaela_obrien@ajg.com.

How soon will I be able to know what the costs and rates will be?

To receive a quote for rates, you’ll need to have be an MCN member for a minimum of 30 days. You will need to submit information to Gallagher, the exclusive broker for BenefitsMN. Once Gallagher has the information, you should receive a proposal within two weeks.

My organization is small. Can we participate?

Yes, employers with two or more eligible employees will be eligible to participate in BenefitsMN. Each employer will designate their employee eligibility at 20, 25 or 30 hours per week.

My organization is based in Greater Minnesota. Will coverage be available there?

Yes, all Minnesota nonprofit employers will have the ability to choose from multiple plans and multiple networks that will fit the needs of their employees. Plan and network availability will vary by geographic location. The nonprofit employer must be headquartered in Minnesota.

How much will the plans cost?

That will depend on where your organization is located, what plans you might choose, the information you submit to Medica, and the ages of participants. Each organization will receive rates specific to that organization.

Can I keep my existing doctor/provider?

That will depend on the plans and networks each employer chooses to offer its employees. The Medica Choice Passport network — one of the region’s largest provider networks — is one of the network options included in BenefitsMN, and is a national network.

Is there dental coverage?

Gallagher partners with numerous carriers, including Colonial, to provide their clients with Dental coverage outside of BenefitsMN.

Are domestic partners covered?

Yes.

Does my nonprofit need to be an MCN member to participate?

Any nonprofit — MCN member or not — may request information from Gallagher about the plans. To receive a rate quote and to participate in BenefitsMN, however, an organization must be an active nonprofit member of MCN for a minimum of 30 days.  

Not sure if you’re a member?
Visit our nonprofit member list to search for your organization or email info@minnesotanonprofits.org to inquire.

Want to learn more about MCN membership?
If you’d like to learn more about nonprofit membership — including benefits, dues levels, and more — visit our member page.

Why is it necessary to be an MCN member for 30 days before receiving a quote for health insurance rates?

This is a legal requirement under Minnesota insurance laws. Specifically, in this context of an association-sponsored health plan, Minnesota law prohibits MCN from directly soliciting, offering, or selling an insurance policy to its members within the first 30 days of membership. See the definitions of “group insurance” and “association” under Minnesota Statutes Insurance (Ch. 59A-79a) § 60A.02, for additional context.

I currently work with another broker. Do I have to work with Gallagher?

Yes. Gallagher is the exclusive broker to BenefitsMN. You can continue to work with your existing broker for other types of insurance, such as business insurance including Directors & Officers coverage, casualty, liability, and workers compensation.

Also, you can work with your current broker to purchase voluntary employee benefits, which includes dental, life, and accident insurance.

  • If you want to use the Medsurety Benefits Administration platform and services for the medical coverage, you must offer your employees at least two of the voluntary benefits that Colonial has developed. If you offer these to employees and none of them enrolls in the benefits, you can still access the Medsurety Benefits Administration platform free-of-charge, for managing your organization’s medical benefits. In this case, you would need to have another way to manage enrollment and coverage of these ancillary, voluntary benefits.
I have other questions. Can you help?

If you have questions about BenefitsMN not addressed in the FAQ above, please contact info@BenefitsMN.org. We will do our best to provide assistance in a timely manner.


BenefitsMN Board of Trustees

  • Beth Chalmers, Chief Financial Officer, Artspace
  • Amanda Waaraniemi Golly, Vice President of Human Resources, Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities (Chair)
  • Lisa Kopischke, Chief Financial Officer, Vine Faith in Action (Treasurer)
  • Steve Lepinski, Steve Lepinski Consulting
  • Laura Mortenson, Communications Director, Minnesota Budget Project
  • Doug Rosenberg, Finance & Administration Director, Common Hope
  • Karla Schiller, Director of Human Resources, Midwest Reliability Organization
  • Rachel Walstad, Executive Director, Foster Adopt Minnesota