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Health supplemental budget bill grows to $43 million through reappropriations, additional resources

Mental health service provisions, pharmacy service expansion, and insurance reimbursements for prosthetics and orthotics are coming out on top despite a relatively small health supplemental budget bill.

Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester), who sponsors HF4571, as amended, grew the committee’s $9.5 million budget target to a $43 million budget proposal through reappropriations and access to other budget resources.

The House Health Finance and Policy Committee reviewed the 343-page amendment and received testimony Thursday. The committee is scheduled to act on the bill Friday.

In summarizing the major budget categories, Liebling said mental health spending amounts to $26 million; insurance improvements, $8 million; and a pharmacy provision, $3.5 million.

“I think all of us here on this committee recognize that mental health is a big area of need in this state,” she said. “We need a lot more funding than that. This is barely scratching the surface.”

Child mental health grants would be appropriated $8.11 million in fiscal year 2025 and $17.89 million in the 2026-27 biennium.

Pharmacies would benefit under the bill due to an appropriation of $552,000 in fiscal year 2025 and $1.35 million in the 2026-27 biennium to increase the medical assistance dispensing fee under fee-for-service from $10.77 to $11.55, effective July 1, 2024.

“We really, really, really appreciate this bill,” said Buck Humphrey, representing the Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance.

Under the bill, health insurance plans and medical assistance would be required to cover orthotics and prosthetics devices, supplies, and services. The bill includes $1.05 million in fiscal year 2025 and $5.42 million in the 2026-27 biennium for medical assistance grants and MinnesotaCare grants. Liebling said medical assistance has not been covering these items well.

Policy provisions included in the bill range from abortion care to oversight of HMOs to rapid whole genome sequence. In more detail, the bill would:

  • establish requirements for the conversion of nonprofit health service plan corporations and nonprofit HMOs, and give the Health Department oversight authority for health maintenance organization transactions;
  • require health plan coverage of abortions and abortion-related services, make changes to insurance statutes regarding abortion, and modify requirements for medical assistance coverage of abortions and abortion-related service;
  • prohibit health plans and medical assistance from requiring prior authorization or step therapy for HIV preexposure prophylaxis, unless certain conditions related to access to a therapeutic equivalent are met;
  • allow pharmacists to prescribe, dispense, and administer drugs to prevent HIV, and to order, conduct, and interpret related lab tests;
  • require health plan and medical assistance coverage of scalp hair prostheses to include coverage for other health conditions (beyond alopecia areata) and the treatment of cancer, and to also cover related equipment and accessories;
  • establish requirements for health plan coverage of gender-affirming care;
  • require providers to make their policy on medical debt collection publicly available, prohibit providers from denying services due to medical debt, and regulate billing and payment for miscoded medical services;
  • require hospital and hospital campuses to provide notice of public hearing for any voluntarily closure, curtailment of operations, relocation, or cessation of certain services, and establish a right of first refusal for a local unit of government before a hospital or hospital campus may be sold or offered for sale;
  • establish licensure for natural organic reduction and requirements for natural organic reduction (human composting):
  • establish requirements for health plan coverage of amino acid-based formula and require medical assistance coverage of the same to comply with the requirements for private sector coverage; and
  • establish requirements for health plan coverage and medical assistance coverage of rapid whole genome sequencing;

Not included in the bill is the expansion of MinnesotaCare to allow a public option that would allow low-income Minnesotans to afford health care cover. The governor’s budget proposal suggested an appropriation of $72 million for this provision.

“Each year of delayed implementation costs lives,” said Katie Guthrie, representing Faith in Minnesota.


What’s in the bill?

The following are select bills that have been incorporated in part or in whole into the supplemental health finance bill.


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