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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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House approves bill to significantly reduce high-risk insurance premiums

Monday, March 13, 2017


ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill aims to provide double-digit reductions on health insurance premiums by mitigating the impact of high-risk consumers in the individual market.

Dubbed the Minnesota Premium Security Plan, the proposal would establish a state-based reinsurance program administered by the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, which for more than 40 years ran a high-risk pool that brought stability to the individual market and ensured the sickest Minnesotans had access to coverage. Projections indicate the move could reduce premiums by approximately 18 percent.

“This already is the second bill we have passed in the House this session to provide health insurance premium relief and to clean up the mess Obamacare and MNsure have caused,” said Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent. “The latest House proposal would increase access and reduce costs for people who are in the greatest need. Our bill is by no means a silver bullet, but it is one more important step toward gaining stability and restoring Minnesota’s reputation as a national leader in health insurance.”

The new program would be funded by existing revenue sources. The MCHA board, comprised of members of the public and health plan experts, would design payment parameters to mitigate risk, stabilize or reduce premium rates, increase participation, and account for federal funding available for the plan.

Parameters would be submitted to the Department of Commerce for approval. The board also would have the authority to audit eligible health carriers and is required to contract with an independent auditor for an annual reinsurance program.

The House bill (H.F. 5) passed with broad, bipartisan support, 78-53. The Senate is expected to vote on a similar proposal in the coming weeks.