Leveraging a Minnesota-specific statute, Land O’Lakes developed a group health plan for individual farmers within its network in 2018. In its pilot year, through a partnership with Gravie, a Minneapolis-based benefits marketplace, the Farmer Member Health Plan was offered to 12 Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes co-ops as well as to its individual farmer members. In 2019, the plan expanded into Nebraska, making more than 50,000 farmers in the states of Minnesota and Nebraska eligible for enrollment in the plan. With the expansion into Kansas, more than 60 cooperatives and their farmers are now eligible.
“At Land O’Lakes, we’re continuously looking for new ways to support and advocate for our members,” said Beth Ford, president and CEO, Land O’Lakes. “Our farmers are dealing with many challenging issues in today’s agriculture environment – finding affordable health care options for their families shouldn’t be one of them.”
Farmers participating in the Land O’Lakes Cooperative Farmer Member Health Plan can choose from several ACA compliant plans – all of which cover the ten Essential Health Benefits (EHBs), have broad network coverage and are more affordable than plans offered in the current individual market. By being voluntarily compliant with the ACA and ERISA, those with pre-existing conditions are not barred from participation, nor will premiums be developed based on a particular participant’s health condition.
“The expansion of our Farmer Member Health Care Plan is something we take immense pride in, and we thank our partners in the Kansas legislature for making this possible,” added Pam Grove, senior director of benefits at Land O’Lakes.
The Land O’Lakes Cooperative Farmer Member Health Plan is not the company’s first entrée into the health care space for those within its cooperative system. In 2011, the company launched a fully-insured plan for employees of certain agricultural member co-ops. That plan now covers over 12,000 co-op employees and their dependents in 12 states.
Land O’Lakes is working to expand this offering to additional states and identify ways in which to grow this new solution for its member producers and farmers within its cooperative system.