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.
“It’s past time to fix Obamacare’s ill effects on Minnesotans, and this bill is a great first step,” said Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia. “Not only will our residents receive a significant reduction in their insurance premiums, they’ll see reforms to increase competition, choice, and access. We worked across party lines for struggling families, small business owners, farmers, and so many others around the state.”
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.