MN Republicans Offering Solutions to Skyrocketing MNsure Costs

Republican Senators - Photo Via MN Senate Media Services Youtube

St. Paul – MN: With the release of MNsure’s rates Minnesotans can now better determine how the program will affect their budgets for 2017.

Republican State Senator Michelle Benson penned a commentary piece in the Star Tribune this week. She writes, “Approximately 250,000 Minnesotans will be faced with increases averaging from 50 percent to 67 percent over this year’s costs, and at least 100,000 will lose their current coverage and trusted doctor.”

Three days after individual insurance rates increased by an average of 50-67%, and Minnesota became the first state to institute widespread caps on the number of new enrollees allowed to purchase plans, Minnesota Senate Republicans vowed to “fix” Minnesota’s “broken healthcare system” in the following ways:

First, to achieve lower premiums and deductibles by restoring “a statewide high-risk pool (like the former Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association – MCHA) to make the individual market healthier, more sustainable, and less expensive” and allowing a, “tax deduction for health insurance premiums for individuals and families who don’t qualify for group insurance.”

In order to achieve more choices in the marketplace Republicans plan to, “allow entities other than employers to offer group health insurance for their members. This includes organizations like agriculture cooperatives, fraternal organizations and clubs.” They also want to allowall independent doctors, clinics, and hospitals to be considered in-network providers.

The Republican leadership says they will create efficiency by allowing individuals, families, and small employers to skip the hassles of MNsure by purchasing coverage directly through insurance agents, while still receiving the same tax credits available to MNsure enrollees.

Finally, Republicans say they will allow Minnesotans to enroll in public health insurance programs like Medical Assistance through their counties instead of through MNsure by expanding County Based Purchasing.

In the release, Republican Senate Minority Leader David Hann said, “In the three and a half years since MNsure was created, insurance costs have shot through the roof, millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted on fraudulent applications, hundreds of thousands of families lost their doctors, and enrollment obstacles have delayed cancer treatments, even costing one woman her life. Despite all of this, Democrats in the legislature haven’t lifted a finger to fix it, or even stop MNsure executives from receiving thousands in unfair bonuses,”

Hann said Minnesotans need to decide, “Do you want more of the same top-down regulations that caused this mess? Or do you want to lower costs and increase choices by tailoring the health insurance market to individual needs? Republicans will bring our health insurance market back from the brink of collapse by instituting patient-centered, common sense reforms.”

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Julia Erynn