This summer, 40 Square Cooperative Solutions is encouraging Minnesota’s statewide agribusiness community to cool off by visiting 40square.coop to complete a census form and learn about the organization’s affordable health plan options. Prospective plan participants can also email [email protected] to receive a quick rate estimate.
40 Square, which is currently in its sixth year of offering quality health plans, can enroll agribusinesses and farm families throughout the year.
“We’re excited to offer a variety of comprehensive self-funded health plans that give Minnesota’s agribusiness community competitive options for their health care,” Executive Director Amanda Beavens said. “We’re continuing to visit with agribusiness leaders throughout Minnesota to encourage them to take a look at 40 Square.”
40 Square is rooted in Minnesota’s proud farming tradition by remaining the state’s only agricultural co-op focusing exclusively on providing agribusinesses – and their employees – along with farm families, agriculture trade associations and cooperatives access to self-funded health plan options.
“I knew I wanted to have a say about my health plan, and I knew this was about the only way that I could,” said Steve Hoffman, a Minnesota farmer and 40 Square Vice Chair. “Anything to support rural Minnesota is a good thing for me.”
The Mankato-based organization 40 Square has covered hundreds of agribusinesses and farm families over its six years of offering health plans. Minnesota is the nation’s leading cooperative state, supporting more than 600 co-ops, many of which are engaged in production agriculture.
“The fact that 40 Square is an agricultural co-op is really important,” 40 Square Board Chair Cole Trebesch said. “Most farmers belong to multiple ag co-ops. They’re a great thing, and 40 Square gives farmers some control over the various health plans we offer.”
To qualify to join 40 Square, a business must earn at least 25% of its income from providing direct service to production agriculture. This provision also includes farm corporations that do not file a Schedule F or Form 1065 with their income taxes (regardless of income).
“A qualifying agribusiness isn’t just a seed or ag parts dealer,” Beavens said. “Because so many rural communities rely on agriculture to sustain their economies, we can expand the definition of an ‘agribusiness’ to include businesses like car dealerships and banks, among many other industries that are directly connected to agriculture.”
Since its inception, 40 Square has worked tirelessly to offer a variety of major medical health plans with a range of options. All plans include coverage for doctor visits, preventative care prescription drugs, hospital care, no-cost annual exams and more.
Depending on their desired deductible amount, members can choose from multiple plans through Aetna, 40 Square’s provider.
For those looking to lower their health care costs, 40 Square is also now offering a no-prescription plan.
“You can save significant money if you go with the no-prescription plan,” Beavens said. “It’s a great option for those that don’t take regularly scheduled medicines. And with this plan, you can get a prescription savings card that will offer you discounts on the few prescriptions that may come up.”
Open network, value-based pricing plans are also being offered to new groups this year, which can save heath plan participants close to 15% when compared to standard plan options. Because these are open network plans, every provider is eligible to deliver services and members are free to select their own provider.
“The value-based pricing plans are great additions to our portfolio,” Beavens said. “With these plans, rising medical costs are contained and members can rest assured knowing that their medical bills are being audited and repriced to ensure that inappropriate costs aren’t being charged.”
40 Square also offers Aetna Premier Care Network Plus (APCN+) plan, which offers reduced rates to residents in 13 Minnesota counties: Anoka, Brown, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Nicollet, Ramsey, Rice, Scott, Washington and Wright.
Available to three distinct groups – farm families, agribusinesses, agricultural trade associations and co-ops – 40 Square remains committed to helping Minnesota’s agricultural community receive access to comprehensive health plan options.
“You’re signing up for more than a plan when you sign up with us,” Beavens said. “You’re signing up to join our health care cooperative. Our board of directors are farmers just like everybody else on the plan. They’re the ones making decisions for the membership based on members’ feedback.”
The 40 Square difference means joining an organization that always keeps the best interests of its members in focus.
“As a farmer, we are eternal optimists,” said 40 Square Board Director Kevin Lauwagie said. “I think we’re certainly a good organization that offers another look at health care, and we’re offering competitive coverage to Minnesota farm families and agriculture businesses.”
For more information on how – and why – 40 Square puts people above profits, visit 40square.coop/
“We’re here to make your lives easier, not harder,” said Trebesch, who farms in Springfield. “40 Square is the solution rural Minnesota has been looking for.”