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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe McDonald (R)

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LEGISLATURE PASSES HEALTH CARE RELIEF BILL

Friday, January 27, 2017

 

Bill includes premium relief, preservation of care, reforms to increase competition and choice

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House overwhelmingly approved a package of health insurance relief and reform on Thursday and Gov. Mark Dayton signed it into law.

The package (S.F. 1) provides a 25-percent premium reduction to Minnesotans who do not qualify for MNsure tax credits on the individual market. It also includes key Republican-led reforms to preserve care for those receiving life-saving treatments and increase competition and consumer choice moving forward.

“I am pleased we were able to deliver relief to people who need it most, but the reform measures the House successfully advocated to include will be just as beneficial by increasing accessibility, ensuring continuity of coverage and containing costs for the long haul,” said Rep. Joe McDonald, R-Delano. “There is more work to do to improve health insurance delivery in our state, but this is a big first step so early in the session.”

The bill passed both bodies with wide, bipartisan support. Republican-led reforms in the final bill include:

  • Allowing for-profit HMOs to operate in Minnesota (like most states) which will increase options for consumers.
  • Modifying stop loss coverage to make it easier for more small businesses to offer affordable insurance to their employees.
  • Providing greater transparency for proposed insurance premium changes by requiring earlier disclosure of proposed rates.
  • Allowing Agricultural Cooperatives to offer group health insurance to their members so farmers and their families can get better access to care and more affordable coverage.
  • Ensuring Minnesota employees can benefit from the recently passed federal 21st Century Cures Act which allows employers to make pre-tax contributions toward employee health insurance costs.
  • Network adequacy reform that will assist in ensuring more options for residents in rural Minnesota.
  • Prohibiting surprise billing to protect consumers from previously undisclosed costs.

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