STATEMENTS: Leaders Weigh in on MNsure Rates

Updated: 09/17/2013 7:45 PM By: Jennie Olson

State officials released the first look Friday at health insurance plans and rates to be sold on MNsure
State officials released the first look Friday at health insurance plans and rates to be sold on MNsure
Photo: KSTP-TV/Jim O'Connell

State officials released the first look Friday at health insurance plans and rates to be sold on MNsure, Minnesota's vehicle for delivering requirements of the new federal health care law. The marketplace is scheduled to go live on Oct. 1, and coverage starts Jan. 1.

Read what politicians around the state are saying about the rates:

Statement from Senate Republican Leader David Hann on MNsure Rates

“These rates are higher than what is currently available on the open market, and even with promises that healthcare reform will bring more affordability, it seems we were sold a bill of goods.  MNsure will cost us more – consumers will pay higher premiums and taxpayers will pay higher taxes to fund subsidies.  In addition, MNsure limits choices in health insurance coverage for hardworking Minnesota families. It also fails to protect private patient data. Republicans will continue to offer common-sense solutions to reform our health care system to ensure Minnesota remains the gold standard in patient care,” Senator Hann said.

House Republican Statement to MNsure Rate Release

State officials disclosed the rates to be offered through Democrats’ Insurance Exchange Friday.  House Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee Republican Lead Joe Hoppe (Chaska) gave the following statement in response.

“Today we learned many hardworking Minnesotans will be forced to pay more for health insurance under Minnesota Democrats’ Insurance Exchange than they do on the private market here in Minnesota. How does making health insurance more expensive encourage more people to get insured?” Rep. Hoppe said.

Minnesota Democrats are expected to spend more than $330 million on their exchange by 2016.

“More than a hundred million taxpayer dollars have been spent so far but not one penny has been spent on actual health care like pediatric check-ups for kids, preventative screenings for women or prescriptions for the elderly,” Rep. Hoppe said.

MNsure’s Legislative Oversight Committee meets Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 3:30 pm in Room 10 of the State Office Building.

“I look forward to our upcoming hearing where we can hopefully get answers to outstanding questions Democrats have, so far, failed to provide,” Rep. Hoppe said.

Statement from Gov. Mark Dayton Regarding MNsure Rates

Following today’s release of new rates for health insurance policies that will be available through MNsure, Minnesota’s new health insurance marketplace, Governor Mark Dayton released the following statement:

“First, I want to thank all of the dedicated state employees at MNsure and the Minnesota Departments of Commerce, Health, Human Services, and Management and Budget, who have worked evenings and weekends for the last few months to launch this enormous project on October 1. I also thank the participating health plans for engaging in this historic undertaking and for making it possible to accelerate the release of today’s information by almost a month.

“I am told that it is extremely difficult to make valid comparisons between these health insurance rates and those in previous years. A very important feature of the Affordable Care Act is that it requires insurance plans to cover significantly more of people’s health care needs than before. Additionally, these prices do not include the federal subsidies, which will reduce the cost of coverage for many Minnesotans.

“However, MNsure’s rates can be compared to those in other states, which have established similar health exchanges. The costs Minnesotans will pay for their health insurance are markedly lower than in most other states. Due credit belongs to all of our state’s initiatives, in both the private and public sectors, to control rising health care costs. Those efforts must, and will, continue.”