ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill which aims to provide double-digit reductions on health insurance premiums by mitigating the impact of high-risk consumers in the individual market.
Dubbed the Minnesota Premium Security Plan, the proposal would establish a state-based reinsurance program administered by the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, which for more than 40 years ran a high-risk pool that brought stability to the individual market and ensured the sickest Minnesotans had access to coverage. Projections indicate the move could reduce premiums by approximately 18 percent.
“I think it’s another step that we need,” said Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township. “This bill can help to foster competition, bringing in more insurance companies, bringing down the rates of the companies, I would hope and also insuring more people.”
The new program would be funded by existing revenue sources. The MCHA board, comprised of members of the public and health plan experts, would design payment parameters to mitigate risk, stabilize or reduce premium rates, increase participation, and account for federal funding available for the plan.
Parameters would be submitted to the Department of Commerce for approval. The board also would have the authority to audit eligible health carriers and is required to contract with an independent auditor for an annual reinsurance program.
The House bill (H.F. 5) passed 78-53. The Senate is expected to vote on a similar proposal in the coming weeks.