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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Erin Koegel (DFL)

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COVID-19: Health Plans, Unemployment Insurance and More

Friday, April 3, 2020

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Rep. Koegel

Neighbors,

Even before Governor Walz signed his Stay at Home Executive Order, Minnesotans were taking social distancing seriously. One week into the order, I have heard from friends and family that they had already stepped back, were staying home, and intend to do their part.

Stay at Home Graphic

Health plans waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment

Minnesota’s health plans have agreed to waive cost-sharing for treatment of COVID-19. This move comes in response to the Governor’s Commissioners of Health and Commerce sending a letter on March 13 urging the health plans to remove barriers to coverage during the pandemic.

As a result, Minnesotans with commercial insurance — including individuals, small businesses, and some large businesses — are now eligible for the following benefits:

  • Minnesotans will have no cost-sharing charges for COVID testing.
  • Minnesotans who are hospitalized will have no cost-sharing charges for in-network hospitalization.
  • Minnesotans will have expanded access to telemedicine services. This will help people to stay home and access care if they need it.

State of the State Address

Governor Walz will deliver his State of the State address this Sunday evening, April 5 from the Governor’s Residence, beginning at 7:00 p.m. You can watch on You Tube Live in addition to radio and television broadcasts.

Unemployment Insurance

Many of our neighbors have lost their jobs because of the necessary safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A helpful resource that’s currently available is Minnesota’s unemployment insurance (UI) program, which can be applied for here

As part of the recently enacted federal stimulus bill, the federal government is making unemployment benefits available for self-employed individuals.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has created a new guide for small businesses needing help during this unprecedented public health crisis. Click here for the most up-to-date and accurate information about financial assistance for small businesses.

Social Security Recipients and the Federal Stimulus Checks

There has been some confusion about whether those receiving social security will get a federal stimulus check. This article from AARP on Thursday should help answer some questions.

House Operations – Remote Committee Hearing

This week, the Rules and Legislative Administration Committee held a virtual hearing to discuss and approve the new House remote committee process. When the House met in floor session last Thursday, we approved alternate processes for member debate and voting. We now have processes in place to continue the work of the House in a way that is safe and accessible to the public. I encourage you to watch proceedings when they happen at www.house.mn.

Census

Your participation in the 2020 Census helps direct federal funds to our communities for schools, roads and other public services. Results will also be used to determine the number of seats Minnesota will have in Congress. It just takes a few minutes!

We Count MN

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Make sure to check my GOOGLE page for a compilation of COVID-19 related information:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1PJvhCdSArNrnAuyyavYoPFRDW4VWwS4M

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You can contact me at rep.erin.koegel@house.mn or (651) 296-5369.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve our district in the legislature.

Sincerely,

Erin Koegel

State Representative

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