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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tama Theis (R)

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Representatives Theis and Knoblach Seek More Choice for Stearns and Benton County Families, Urge Early MNsure Shopping to Avoid Harmful Caps

Friday, October 28, 2016

Saint Cloud, MINN—With Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Commerce authorizing enrollment caps for health insurance plans earlier this year, Minnesotans seeking to purchase plans on the individual market in five counties including Stearns and Benton will have access to zero uncapped health plans when open enrollment begins on November 1. This means that once those plans are “full,” Minnesotans in those counties could be out of options to purchase insurance for next year. 

Representative Tama Theis (R-St. Cloud) and Representative Jim Knoblach (R-St. Cloud) are urging Minnesotans to shop early for plans when open enrollment begins next week, as they continue to work on solutions to fix our state’s health care crisis.

“MNsure has been an expensive disaster for folks in the St. Cloud area, and now with limited, capped plans, I am encouraging people to sign up quickly when open enrollment begins on November 1 to avoid being left without a plan for 2017,” said Rep. Theis. “We are committed to helping Minnesotans facing this health care crisis, and will continue to work toward solutions to lower health care costs, help people keep their doctor and bring more choice to the marketplace.”

“Our community is extremely limited in choice with MNsure, and we are working on solutions to address affordability, options, and access to care for families in Central Minnesota,” said Rep. Knoblach. “House Republicans have outlined a number of meaningful fixes including a request that Governor Dayton seek an emergency one-month extension of the open enrollment period to purse any and all options to bring more plans into the MNsure marketplace. I have also advocated to transition our state from MNsure to the federal exchange and allow more firms to sell policies in Minnesota to provide additional choices for consumers. In the meantime, I do encourage people to choose a plan immediately when open enrollment begins to avoid being left without coverage because of these detrimental caps.”

House Republicans outlined a number of proposals earlier this month to address our state’s health care crisis which you can read about here.

The House Republican Co-Chair of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee also sent a letter to state leaders earlier this week outlining a number of immediate fixes which you can read here.