The proposals are meant to help people who don't qualify for tax credits through the state's health insurance exchange. That segment of the population could be subject to rate increases topping out at 67 percent compared to last year.
The hikes create scenarios where people buying their own insurance either through the state's exchange or straight from insurers will pay far more than neighbors on employer-provided plans.
Calling the situation a "crisis," Sen.
Sheran, serving out her last term as chair of the
The group said a quick response should be the Legislature's top priority once a new session starts. Sheran said she fears many will risk going uninsured rather than pay the hiked up costs.
"It's a very serious and big risk, one that we as
A new Legislature would have a little less than a month to address the issue before open enrollment closes on
The proposals include applying for a waiver from the federal government to include MinnesotaCare on the MNsure health care exchange. Currently offered to Minnesotans with low incomes, MinnesotaCare under the proposal would be opened up to everyone.
It would bring another option for those shopping for insurance on the individual market.
Unlike some insurers on the MNsure exchange, there would be no caps on the number of people who could sign up for MinnesotaCare. As it stands, the remaining insurers in the market can stop offering their plans once enough people sign up. This could be a major inconvenience for people in rural
Johnson said MinnesotaCare also would be offered statewide rather than regionally.
"We know regional ratings result in higher costs for health insurance for rural
Reforms to how the
The legislators acknowledged that their proposals would require funding. Johnson said the state's surplus could be one option.
"I'm hopeful we can be aggressive in January and do that and accomplish that," he said.
A handful of concerned citizens, as well as Frentz's Republican opponent,
"I think we're in a situation where both parties are to blame," she said.
Doug said he worries where funding for the proposals would come from once the surplus is gone.
Johnson said longer-term solutions will also need to be explored in the upcoming session. The shorter-term proposals, though, need to take top priority first.
"I'll be submitting the bill again," he said. "I'm hoping for a DFL majority in order to move that kind of legislation to the
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