Dayton: Minn. Won't Extend Insurance Coverage

Updated: 11/18/2013 5:07 PM By: Scott Theisen

Gov. Mark Dayton says Minnesota will not allow people to keep existing insurance plans for another year despite President Barack Obama's plan to allow it.
Dayton announced his decision Monday in a letter to the Council of Health Plans, which represents Minnesota's largest insurance companies. Last week, Dayton said he believed Americans should be able to keep existing insurance plans under the federal overhaul.
The Council of Health Plans said in a letter to Dayton earlier Monday that Obama's extension would have created disruption and uncertainty in the state's new insurance marketplace.
Despite his earlier comments, Dayton says in Monday's letter that he realized the extension is not workable in Minnesota and admitted it would have caused confusion in the insurance marketplace.

The Governor also released the following statement on this topic along with his letter:

"When asked last Tuesday, I said that I believed people should be allowed to keep their present health insurance policies, if they so desired.  I applauded the President’s statement last Thursday, giving states that option.

However, I received this morning a letter from Ms. Julie Brunner, Executive Director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans. The letter informed me, 'The President’s announcement comes too late to allow health plans and our regulator to complete filings, rate approvals and communications regarding re-enrollments in time to prevent major market disruptions for Minnesotans in the individual marketplace.'

I replied, 'Your letter makes clear that making the program changes offered by the President last week would be unworkable for your members and would likely cause more expensive health coverage for Minnesotans.'

For those reasons, I have acceded to their request and directed Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman to continue the implementation of MNsure, as it is presently designed."

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