Governor Mark Dayton has signed an agreement with the federal government which implements a “reinsurance” program to hold down health insurance premiums, but there’s still a big unknown. Federal approval of the reinsurance waiver for Minnesota came with the proviso that funding would be reduced for MinnesotaCare, the state-run health insurance program for low-income residents. Governor Dayton contends his signature does not eliminate his right to fight those cuts, and top Republicans say they support him in that. Jim Schowalter with the Minnesota Council of Health plans says H-M-Os “want to make sure that Minnesota is held harmless for doing the right thing and holding down increasing insurance costs.”
Schowalter says without the reinsurance agreement the governor signed, they would have expected health insurance premium rates to be about 20 percent higher for those buying through MNsure and on the private market. He says, “Because this reinsurance is in place… on average rates are gonna be stable [and] in many cases are gonna be down.” With “reinsurance,” the state picks up the cost of care for the most seriously ill Minnesotans, with the goal of holding down health insurance premiums for everyone else.
More in this interview with MNN’s Bill Werner: