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RELEASE: Rep. Dave Baker Statement on Final Passage of Health Care Relief Bill

Thursday, January 26, 2017

ST. PAUL, MN—The Minnesota House overwhelmingly approved the conference committee report for Senate File 1 Thursday on a vote of 108-19. The bill provides a 25% premium reduction to Minnesotans who do not qualify for MNsure tax credits on the individual market, and includes key Republican-led reforms to preserve care for those receiving life-saving treatments and increase competition and consumer choice moving forward. The bill passed the Senate earlier Thursday afternoon with bipartisan support.

“Heading into this session, one of my top priorities was helping those struggling to pay for their health insurance,” said Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar. “I held listening sessions and heard from folks throughout this district and they wanted two things: lower costs and increased choice. Our bill starts to address these issues, and we’ll continue to look for ways to solve the health care crisis in Minnesota as session proceeds.”

GOP-led reforms included 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.

The bill will now go to the governor, who is expected to sign it into law.

 

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