St. Paul nonprofit discovers vital employee health benefits through BenefitsMN

For nearly 40 years, the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) has worked to transform classrooms, empower teachers, and captivate students across the country by providing dynamic service learning content to school districts, classrooms, and after-school programs.

When the St. Paul-based nonprofit experienced significant financial distress in 2015, the organization was forced to make the difficult decision to dismiss all of its staff except the CEO. While NYLC has slowly grown back to four full-time staff members, the organization found itself revisiting challenges many organizations far younger than NYLC face, including how to best support the health care needs of its small staff with relatively limited resources.

“Prior to 2015, NYLC offered health coverage to employees,” said Amy Meuers, CEO of NYLC. “Once we began to emerge from our financial hardship and were able to hire additional staff members, however, we faced a new reality — much higher costs for the same health care benefits we’d had in earlier years.”

In 2019, Meuers learned about BenefitsMN. After connecting with representatives from Gallagher, the exclusive broker to BenefitsMN, she discovered plan and pricing options that would make it possible for NYLC to once again provide high-quality medical benefits to staff. NYLC signed on with BenefitsMN in January 2020.

“I was amazed by how easy it was to implement BenefitsMN,” said Meuers. “I thought I was missing steps, because it was actually much easier than working with the other providers when we were a large organization.”

According to Meuers, NYLC staff are grateful for the quality of the benefits that the organization is able to provide through BenefitsMN. Many employees had been purchasing health coverage through spouses or the open market and have experienced savings as a result of the switch.

MCN launched BenefitsMN on January 1, 2020, following years of requests from nonprofits seeking health plan options to help them improve their ability to recruit and retain the best possible staff. In the time since, Minnesota’s first-ever association health plan for nonprofits has leveraged group negotiating power for nonprofits.

To participate, an organization must:

  • Be a legally registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Minnesota;
  • Be a nonprofit member of MCN; and
  • Have at least have at least two benefit eligible employees.

As of August 2021, BenefitsMN is working with 77 nonprofits located throughout Minnesota to provide access to comprehensive and affordable health plans through Medica, covering over 536 nonprofit employees and 875 lives in total. With more nonprofits signing on every month, BenefitsMN continues to successfully pool its members to provide five plan options in six networks throughout Minnesota.

Learn whether BenefitsMN’s comprehensive, affordable health plan options fit the needs of your employees in 2022 and beyond.