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ST. PAUL – Solving Minnesota’s health insurance premium crisis is one of the legislature’s top goals this session, and the Minnesota House approved another bill recently that could provide double-digit reductions on health insurance premiums.
The Minnesota Premium Security Plan would establish a state-based reinsurance program, which would help maintain insurance on the sickest of the sick while potentially lowering premiums for others. State Representative Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) supported the plan.
“We need to make health insurance more affordable, and this bill gives us another chance to reform a system that’s been broken by MNsure and Obamacare,” Gunther said.
The program would be administered by the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA), which for more than 40 years ran a high-risk pool that brought stability to the individual market and ensured the sickest Minnesotans had access to coverage. Projections indicate the move could reduce premiums by approximately 18 percent.
Gunther said the new program would be funded by existing revenue sources. The MCHA board, comprised of members of the public and health plan experts, would design payment parameters to mitigate risk, stabilize or reduce premium rates, increase participation, and account for federal funding available for the plan.
Previously, the House approved legislation that provided premium relief to eligible subscribers and approved other reforms, such as allowing for-profit HMO’s to operate in Minnesota, which Gunther said will improve health care options and drive down costs.
“The reality is if we don’t stabilize the individual health insurance market, it’s going to collapse,” Gunther said. “This legislation is another step towards restoring our place as a nationwide leader in health care.”
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