The Minnesota Senate on Monday approved legislation to extend Minnesota’s successful reinsurance program for another year. Extending the program ensures insurance rates in the individual market will remain stable, and without any additional cost to the taxpayers.
In his recent budget proposal, Governor Tim Walz did not reauthorize this successful program. The state risks destabilizing the individual health insurance market, drastic increases in premium costs, and could lose approximately $90 million in federal money if the program expires.
“It’s easy to forget that MNsure very nearly destroyed our health insurance market,” said Senate Finance Chair Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont). “Reinsurance is what saved it. It stabilized the health care market and lowered costs for countless families. Gov. Walz should not have left reinsurance out of his budget proposal, but Senate Republicans will make sure Minnesota’s health insurance market remains stable.”
The original $542 million for operations was offset by federal funding and the federal dollars will continue through 2022 with this extension. Reinsurance has been proven so effective it is being implemented in several other states across the nation.
In 2016 insurance premiums for the individual market increased by double digits, as high as 49%, due to changes from the Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, many counties only had one insurance company to choose from. Minnesota continues to enjoy some of the lowest rates in the country, every county has at least two providers, and a new provider has started offering plans in the state.
The reform, which was first implemented in 2017, has been lauded by both local media and national news outlets and used as a model by a number of other states.