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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe Schomacker (R)

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Friday, January 27, 2017

ST. PAUL – Legislation that addresses Minnesota’s health care premium cost crisis by providing relief to eligible subscribers while increasing access, competition, and transparency has been signed into law. State Representative Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) supported the plan in the Minnesota House.


“This bill provides direct impact for people seeing their health insurance rates skyrocket,” Schomacker said. “It helps ease the shock of premium increases by providing a bit of relief this year, and allows us to begin improving the market for next year and increase competition for health insurance business.”


Specifically the proposal provides a one-time appropriation of roughly $325 million from budget reserves to enact the emergency health care aid and an initiative that provides continuity of care.


“This provision allows people who were being treated by a doctor to continue treatment by the same doctor even though they were forced to switch insurance plans,” Schomacker said.


Other reforms included will prevent double dipping, prohibit surprise billing, allows more insurance companies to sell in Minnesota; order an audit to determine how the plan is working; and allow organizations with member owners – such as farm cooperatives – to provide health insurance to their members.


“I’m happy we’re moving forward and beginning to tackle this problem because Minnesotans have needed our help for quite a while,” Schomacker said. “This plan is only the beginning as we will continue addressing this problem throughout the 2017 session. There is no silver bullet to the health insurance downward spiral, but these solutions give us more access and better options than what we have now into the future."