Reinsurance Reaches Agreement in MN Legislature

Minnesota Republicans in the House and Senate’s agreement on reinsurance gives hope to struggling families under high health care premiums

Image Credit: Preya Samsundar/Alpha News MN

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A reinsurance deal to help stabilize a rocky healthcare market in Minnesota is one step closer to implementation.

According to MPR, The House and Senate announced that they had come to an agreement on a reinsurance bill aimed at lowering the cost of healthcare in Minnesota.

Minnesota has seen a drastic increase in premiums – by as much as 59 percent.

The reinsurance plan will cost $271 million over the next two years. MPR reports the funds will come from the general treasury and a special health account.

The plan comes days after Gov. Mark Dayton called on Republican lawmakers to make changes to the plan. Dayton wanted “reinsurance contingent upon receiving federal funding,” as reported by Alpha News. Dayton also wanted to see Republicans tax the healthcare industry to pay for the bill, rather than taking money from the general treasury and health account. He also suggested the creation of a buy-in option to MinnesotaCare.

The bill includes Dayton’s request to make reinsurance contingent on approval by the federal government.

The House passed reinsurance legislation earlier in March which would provide insurance companies with a 50 percent reimbursement for claims more than $50,000, up to $250,000 in claims.

As Alpha News reported on March 15, approximately 2 percent of high-risk patients account for over 40 percent of the individual market’s medical bills. This increases insurance premiums in the individual market across the board.

The cost of high health insurance claims forced several Minnesota insurers like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to drop individual plans. In June 2016, the company told NPR, “based on current medical claim trends, Blue Cross is projecting a total loss of more than $500 million in the individual [health plan] segment over three years.” The insurance company reported a $265 million loss in 2015. It attributed the loss to individual market plans.  

The bill may be voted on as early as Wednesday evening in the House

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.