ST. PAUL – A plan that could reduce health insurance premiums by nearly 20 percent has been approved on a bipartisan basis in the Minnesota House. State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) supported the legislation called the Minnesota Premium Security Plan.
“My agricultural cooperative health plan proposal was an important first step towards addressing our health care crisis, and this legislation continues that positive progress for those struggling to pay their health care premiums,” Miller said. “Non-partisan analysts tell us this program could reduce premium rates by 18 percent or more, which is why it’s so important that we passed the legislation off the House floor.”
According to the bill, the Minnesota Premium Security Plan will be administered by the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA), which for over forty years ran a high risk pool that brought stability to the individual market and ensured the sickest Minnesotans had access to needed coverage. It will be funded using existing revenue sources.
The MCHA board, comprised of members of the public and health plan experts, will design payment parameters to mitigate risk, stabilize or reduce premium rates, increase participation, and account for federal funding available for the plan.
The board will have authority to set:
• Attachment point beyond which costs are eligible ($50,000 or more)
• Coinsurance rate (between 50-70%)
• Reinsurance cap ($250,000 or less)
Parameters will be submitted to the Department of Commerce for approval. The board will also have the authority to audit eligible health carriers and is required to contract with an independent auditor for an annual reinsurance program audit.
With Minnesota’s individual insurance market as third as large and twice as sick as it was before Obamacare, Miller said the Legislature has to act.
“Reinsurance is going to protect our residents who are in this high risk pool, allow us to stabilize the individual market and open up the door for insurance companies to return,” Miller said. “In short, we believe it will make health insurance more affordable and increase access.”