Health Care Rebate Passes MN House

The Minnesota House passed a $300 million health care rebate plan Thursday that will help some 123,000 Minnesotans, reports the Star Tribune.

The bill would provide relief to Minnesotans who buy their healthcare via the individual market, and do not already qualify for subsidies. It passed the House by a vote of 73-54. The bill also includes other measures designed to make healthcare more affordable, including coverage for people losing their health care while dealing with serious medical conditions, and allowing for-profit health maintenance organizations to operate in the state.

Another late addition to the bill would allow insurance companies to offer plans that do not cover all benefits which federal law mandates.

“The reforms in this bill are good and important, and we hope the governor will see it that way as well,” Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt (R-31A) said, reports the Star Tribune.

Governor Dayton’s plan calls for $313 million in rebates, but Republicans have said they were in contact with Dayton during the bill’s legislative process. They remain open to negotiating changes on even the more contentious points of the plan, including who would be responsible for overseeing the rebate process.

The Minnesota Senate passed its own health care bill last week. The Senate version has three tiers of rebates ranging from 20 to 30 percent, while the House bill offers a 25 percent rebate for all qualifying families under 800 percent of the federal poverty level. For an individual that mark is $95,040, and for a family of four it is $194,000.

Both parties have put particular emphasis on speedy health care premium relief. As a result health care bills have sped through both chambers and their respective committees at an unusually fast pace.

State budget officials have yet to finish a full financial analysis of the GOP bill. Those officials did testify in committees that the rebate process could take up to a year to complete, while totalling $20 million in administrative costs.

Anders Koskinen