H-M-Os want to postpone Monday’s public release of final health insurance premium numbers for the individual market, but Governor Mark Dayton refuses, saying Minnesotans deserve to know that more affordable health insurance rates will be available. Jim Schowalter with the Minnesota Council of Health Plans says because federal funding is not finalized, they also want to delay sending out renewal letters, “so that we don’t add confusion for Minnesotans who are renewing their insurance.”
We asked Schowalter, if renewal letters had already gone out and federal funding changed, would health plans be able to charge more than quoted? “That is a legal question we’re still exploring,” he says. And can health plans decide without Dayton’s permission to delay sending out renewal letters to health insurance policy subscribers? Schowalter says, “I think that’s what we’ll have to look at.”
Much more in this interview with MNN’s Bill Werner:
Here is Governor Dayton’s statement from Tuesday afternoon:
“It is extremely irresponsible for health insurers to disrupt MNsure’s upcoming Open Enrollment period, which many Minnesotans will use to buy health insurance coverage for themselves and their families. They deserve the security of knowing that more affordable health insurance rates will be available to them and their loved ones in 2018, without confusion or delay.
“Having received approval of our 1332 Waiver Application from the US Department of Health and Human Services, my Administration is legally required to implement the state reinsurance program, which will lower health insurance rates by an average 20 percent for many thousands of Minnesotans. Since state law also requires us to release those rates on October 2nd, we must proceed immediately and efficiently – and we are doing so.
“I have expressed my strong opposition to the federal government’s proposed cuts to MinnesotaCare, upon which 100,000 Minnesotans depend for quality, affordable health coverage. That issue remains unresolved with our federal partners, and my Administration will continue our fight to preserve full federal funding for this program. I ask Minnesota’s health plans, state legislators, our Congressional Delegation, and all Minnesotans to help make the strongest possible case for CMS to honor its commitment to hold Basic Health Plan funding harmless, when approving Minnesota’s reinsurance waiver.”