9:33 PM | Posted in
Last week in the Minnesota House of Representatives and in the Minnesota Senate, we saw steps toward reforming the way in which health care is delivered throughout the state. The Senate version (SF 3099), which passed today, has been the culmination of a variety of groups and people. Some of those include the Legislative Commission on Health Care Access, the Governor’s Health Care Transformation Task Force, the authors of SF 3099, and even the Governor (although he has since expressed misgivings about having worked with Democrats).

Some of its key provisions include:

o SF 3099 will develop a registration for Health Insurance Access Brokers. Any corporation selling insurance will be able to apply and act as an Access Broker. This will entail helping small businesses and individuals purchase health care insurance and set up Section 125 plans. MNCare enrollees above 200% of the FPG will be allowed to purchase the essential benefit set through this brokerage.

o SF 3099 establishes what is considered “affordable” for health care coverage. Health care costs consist of premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs. For those individuals and families with incomes below 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), the maximum amount of spending on health care costs would be on a sliding-scale basis, and would not exceed 7% of gross monthly household income.

o A subsidy program is also established to help employees whose health insurance costs exceed the established affordability standard.

o State funding would be provided for farmers applying to MNCare, pending federal approval which would reimburse state costs for this expense.

On the House side, there was a press conference last week to discuss their version and hear from community supporters of the legislation. This is the very 5% solution that I discussed with House DFL candidate, Rob Jacobs, who will be running against Dan Severson.

Press Conference (Part 1)

Press Conference (Part 2)

I encourage everyone to mail, email, or call their local legislators to encourage them in their efforts to reform the health care system in this state. This is especially needed for our more belligerent legislators. Let them know that their inaction and roadblocks are neither helpful nor welcomed.