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ST. PAUL, MN – After a lengthy floor debate that lasted into Monday evening, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HF 5, a bill that establishes a state-based health insurance exchange.
“I was proud to join my colleagues to support this historic legislation,” said Rep. Fischer. “Establishing an exchange based on Minnesota’s unique needs instead of a federal one-size-fits-all model will serve our state well.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, states face a March 31 deadline to approve state-based exchanges. If they do not meet that deadline, the federal government will step in and implement an exchange run by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Minnesota’s exchange is estimated to expand health coverage to over 300,000 individuals who previously could not afford or qualify for insurance. It will save Minnesota families an average of roughly $500 on health care costs.
In addition, the exchange makes it easier for small businesses to purchase affordable coverage for their employees. Tax credits will be available for qualifying businesses with less than 25 employees.
“Ever-increasing health care premiums have squeezed individuals, families, and businesses in Minnesota for far too long,” added Rep. Fischer. “Once fully operational, the exchange will bring down costs and help keep Minnesotans healthy.”
The full Minnesota Senate will take up their own health exchange bill this Thursday. Before final legislation heads to Governor Dayton’s desk, each chamber must reconcile any differences between their respective legislation.