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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dale Lueck (R)

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House Republicans unveil MNsure reform to lower costs, expand health care choices

Wednesday, October 05, 2016
 
ST. PAUL – House Republicans on Wednesday unveiled a series of MNsure-related proposals to reduce costs and increase choices following recent news the state’s health insurance exchange is in crisis mode.
 
Final rates for MNsure’s 2016-2017 open enrollment period are set to skyrocket by 50 to 60 percent or more. Enrollment caps approved by the Minnesota Department of Commerce will also severely limit choices for Minnesotans shopping for insurance, with 53 counties expected to have just two provider options.
 
“MNsure is severely broken and in need of complete reform,” Lueck said. “The architects of this program have so far displayed an unwillingness to face the facts that everyday Minnesotans are grappling with skyrocketing health insurance premiums through MNsure. The Democrats who built this program need to recognize MNsure as the unmitigated disaster it is and join us in adopting bipartisan restructuring.”
 
Republicans are seeking MNsure reform under two categories:
 
LOWER COSTS
  • Reduce the MNsure tax by half, saving families $22 million over the next three years
  • Use $35 million in leftover MCHA funds for direct premium relief
  • Seek waiver or encourage federal government to waive federal tax penalties for buying a non-qualifying plan
  • End surprise billing to ensure transparency in pricing
  • Transition Minnesota to the federal exchange, saving millions in overhead costs and improving user experience
MORE CHOICES
  • Secure federal waiver to allow eligible Minnesotans to access tax credits off the MNsure exchange
  • Grant flexibility to the Department of Commerce by allowing the commissioner to waive the five year waiting period for companies to re-enter the individual market – provided the commissioner decides it's in the best interest of consumers.
The MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee met Wednesday afternoon in St. Paul to discuss MNsure premium rate increases, the status of MNsure's technology systems, and a preview of open enrollment which is set to begin in November.
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