ST. PAUL, Minn. – Gov. Mark Dayton recently signed a federal agreement which provides support for Minnesota’s reinsurance program.
The program will have the effect of discounting premiums by 20 percent in 2018, saving Minnesotans around $7,000 in health insurance costs. The idea behind the reinsurance program is that it will control the cost of individual healthcare in Minnesota after the many years of double digit premium increases. The legislature spent $300 million to combat the cost of huge premium increases in 2017, while at the same time setting up a pool of $542 million to help insurers cover large claims.
However, Dayton stood by Minnesota’s right to dispute the Department of Health’s interpretation of federal laws which provide “the basis for a reduction in funding for Minnesota’s Basic Health Plan (BHP).”
“Therefore, Minnesota retains its position on federal BHP funding and reserves all of its rights to that funding. By signing the STCs, Minnesota does not waive those rights,” Dayton ended the letter confirming the reinsurance program.
With the recent bipartisan proposal for funding of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being advanced by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Dayton’s holdout may take an interesting course.
U.S. Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), head of the Republican Study Committee, tweeted that, “The GOP should focus on repealing & replacing Obamacare, not trying to save it. This bailout is unacceptable.”
Minnesota Senate Majority Leader, Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa), applauded Dayton’s signing of the agreement allowing for the reinsurance program.
“Gov. Dayton’s action on our federal waiver today was the right thing to do for the thousands of Minnesota families facing huge increases in their health insurance premiums. We appreciate his cooperation in this bi-partisan reinsurance bill and share his concerns about ongoing funding for MinnesotaCare,” Gazelka said in a statement.
“If you can’t afford premium, deductibles keep you from care. Insurance is mandatory care isn’t. That’s a BIG difference,’ tweeted gubernatorial candidate Rep. Matt Dean (R-Dellwood) in reference to the recent agreement. “Middle class MN can’t afford to keep paying for everyone else’s healthcare instead of their own.”