Posted at: 03/20/2013 11:17 AM
Updated at: 03/20/2013 11:29 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesotans will be able to buy health insurance online through a state-based marketplace called MNsure, starting in 2014.
“This is a great day for the people of Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton. “Today we are taking a major step forward to improve the quality and affordability of health care for the people of Minnesota.” Governor Dayton thanked members of the state legislature and Minnesota’s federal partners – Senators Klobuchar and Franken, and others of Minnesota’s congressional delegation – for their hard work and commitment to delivering this cost-saving reform for the people and small businesses of Minnesota.When the Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress in 2010, states like Minnesota were given the choice to build their own state-based health insurance exchanges; or opt instead to have a one-size-fits-all federal solution imposed on them. Minnesota chose to build its own exchange. Governor Dayton and the state legislature worked together to establish a health insurance marketplace tailored to the unique needs and characteristics of Minnesota’s families, economy, and nation-leading health care system.
“This legislation is the result of a lot of hard work from people that truly want to offer better health care options in Minnesota,” said state Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL – Kerrick), who authored the bill in the Senate. “I think MNsure will be a great benefit to the people of Minnesota. Individual consumers, families, small businesses, and the health care industry will all benefit from MNsure. This is a great day for health care in Minnesota.”Ultimately, one in five Minnesotans will use MNsure to access health coverage – and the subsidies and tax credits that come with it. This new, consumer-focused marketplace will require insurance companies to compete for your business, presenting consumers with clear and simple choices about coverage. It will empower middle-class families, small businesses, and low-income Minnesotans to choose the quality health coverage they need at a price they can afford.
“This is a Minnesota-made online marketplace: capitalism at its best,” said Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL – Inver Grove Heights), who authored the bill in the House. “This is the most significant health care reform in the last 50 years. Individuals, families and small businesses will be able to get quality, affordable health coverage that saves them money and fits their budget. This is real, positive progress for the people of Minnesota.”MNsure will offer an easy-to-use website where Minnesotans can search for and compare health plans based on cost, quality, and consumer satisfaction. It will also provide a toll-free hotline and in-person assistance where Minnesotans can get help with questions and choose the coverage that best fits their needs. Financial assistance for middle-class families and small businesses will be available for those who purchase coverage through MNsure, making health insurance more affordable for over 1 million Minnesotans.
1.3 million Minnesotans to benefit
One-in-five Minnesotans are expected to use MNsure to access affordable health coverage, including individuals, families, and low-income Minnesotans. An estimated 300,000 previously uninsured Minnesotans will gain coverage through MNsure by 2016 – a 60 percent decrease. MNsure will also modernize enrollment in public programs, helping 700,000 Minnesotans more easily enroll in Medical Assistance. MNsure will also help small businesses provide affordable health choices for their employees. By using MNsure, an estimated 155,000 small business employees will be able to access more affordable coverage – allowing small businesses to save money while attracting and retaining skilled workers.