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ST. PAUL – State Representative Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) said he’s heard from a number of residents wondering how Congress is going to solve our health insurance woes in our country, and is reminding them about the positive changes that have already taken place in our state thanks to actions by the Minnesota Legislature.
“We have been working feverishly at the State Capitol to come up with ways to address the health insurance premium nightmares being faced by countless Minnesotans thanks to Obamacare and MNsure,” Gunther said.
Gunther noted that the Legislature provided premium relief to eligible subscribers and ensured continuity of care for people who were receiving treatment from a physician but lost that ability when they were forced to switch insurance plans during the first month of session.
Other reforms in the new law included will allow for-profit HMO’s to operate in Minnesota, provide stop-loss measures to help small businesses, and institute agricultural cooperative health plans, allowing organizations with member owners – such as farm cooperatives – to provide health insurance to their members.
The Legislature addressed reinsurance, which is designed to stabilize premiums by mitigating the impact of high-risk individuals - or those who are the most sick - on the individual health insurance market last month. Gunther said the plan will also increase competition by requiring insurers to offer additional choices to consumers.
Gunther noted that Governor Dayton’s commissioners testified that this proposal could bring down health insurance premium costs by 20 percent or more, and its passage was critical in order to maintain an individual health insurance market next year.
“We made a promise to Minnesotans to tackle this health insurance premium crisis, and I’m pleased we’ve already passed two new laws and hopefully more will be on the way,” Gunther concluded.
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