Health Insurance Exchange legislation has been signed into law by Governor Dayton. The exchange is an online marketplace where Minnesotans will be able to compare and purchase health insurance. The goal of the exchange is to widen coverage and lower the costs of health coverage for individuals, families and small businesses.
After passage of the Affordable Care Act by the Federal Government, Minnesota was given the choice to create and implement our own health insurance exchange or to use the one-size-fits-all Federal exchange model instead. We have chosen to create our own exchange to better suit the needs and expectations of Minnesotans. By creating our own system, Minnesota’s exchange will be more cost-effective and efficient than the Federal alternative. Our system is a market-based solution that will allow insurance companies to compete directly for business and present consumers with clear choices about health coverage.
There are many benefits to implementing our own state-based health insurance exchange. A state exchange allows Minnesota to control the products, services and systems relating to the exchange. Many key stakeholders, including the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, support a state-based exchange in comparison with the Federal exchange. In addition, implementing our own exchange puts us in a position to be a national leader in health.
Small businesses are poised to see great benefits from the exchange. These businesses currently pay 18% more for insurance for their employees than large businesses. Under the exchange, small employers can define their contribution and let their employees choose the plan that’s right for their families.
The exchange will serve 1 out of every 5 Minnesotans and save middle-class families over $1 billion. 300,000 uninsured Minnesotans are expected to gain insurance coverage by 2016. Enrollment in the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange begins October 1, 2013 and coverage will start January 1, 2014.
Please contact me directly with any questions, comments, or concerns on the exchange or any legislative issue. I can be reached by phone at (651) 296-4255 or by email at email@example.com.
Lyndon R. Carlson
Crystal, New Hope and Plymouth