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ST. PAUL – While there is uncertainty in Washington D.C. over how to handle the Obamacare problem, State Representative Jason Rarick (R-Pine City) said he’s pleased the Minnesota Legislature prioritized individual health insurance premium relief and delivered.
“All of us are unsure of what Congress is going to do, but I’m pleased we’ve been able to approve two new laws that will assist those who are struggling to pay for their health insurance,” Rarick said.
During the first month of session, the Minnesota 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. The legislation also included other reforms that 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.
Last month, Rarick and others approved legislation addressing reinsurance. It’s 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. Rarick said the plan will also increase competition by requiring insurers to offer additional choices to consumers. Governor Dayton’s commissioner had previously testified that the reinsurance proposal could bring down health insurance premium costs by 20 percent or more – meaning legislative approval was critical.
“We have made premium relief a priority and I’m happy we addressed the problem early in the session,” Rarick said. “Solving all of the problems created by Obamacare and MNsure is going to take time, so while I’m glad we’ve taken some needed steps in this area, more needs to be done and we continue working on common sense solutions.”
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