Governor, GOP Agree On Health Insurance Premium Relief Provisions

The deal makes more changes than Dayton originally proposed, but is significantly pared down from a previous GOP-backed bill.

Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP lawmakers have struck a deal that would provide health insurance premium relief to about 125,000 Minnesotans.
The Star Tribune reports that the $326 million bill includes a 25 percent refundable tax credit for people who don’t qualify for federal subsidies on MNsure, as well as permitting for-profit HMOs to operate in the state, creates health care cooperatives for farmers and provides money to help those with serious conditions who lose their coverage.
Republicans were previously pushing for a more comprehensive overhaul of health care policy as part of the state, while Dayton insisted on a clean bill that only offered the tax credits. In the end, both sides compromised as the January 31 deadline to sign up for health insurance loomed.
The bill is expected to pass the state House and Senate on Thursday and Gov. Dayton promised to sign it when it reached his desk.
Premium relief will likely take a few months before it kicks in, the West Central Tribune wrote. Insurers need to build the tax credits into their computer systems and process them. Minnesotans will be eligible for retroactive credit.
Minnesota’s over 50 percent average increase in individual insurance premiums ranked among the largest jumps in the country. Despite that, MNsure officials reported record numbers of people signing up.