ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today stood with a broad coalition of consumers, businesses, insurers, and health care experts as they announced their recommendations to guide the development of a Minnesota-made health insurance exchange. A health insurance exchange is a competitive marketplace, including an online shopping tool much like Expedia.com, where consumers and businesses can compare and purchase high quality health insurance at competitive prices.
At the press conference this morning, Governor Dayton thanked the Task Force members who represent a broad spectrum of Minnesota saying, “We have a great opportunity, if we work together, to make this a success for Minnesota and to lead the way for the rest of the nation.” Governor Dayton urged the legislature to pass legislation to implement a Minnesota-made Health Insurance Exchange, noting, “There isn’t a Democrat or Republican healthcare. There isn’t a Democrat or Republican sickness. There’s not a Democrat or Republican access to affordable health care that is the best quality possible. That is something we all care about.”
The Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Task Force was organized to advise the design and development of a Minnesota-made exchange. The Task Force consists of 15 members appointed by Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and represents a broad balance of interests, including consumers, legislators, employers, labor, health care providers, health insurers, Medicaid, insurance agents and those with experience navigating health plan enrollment, and experts in public and private health care markets and public health improvement.
Over the last several months the Task Force, with the help of nearly 100 stakeholders participating in several work groups, created and voted on the initial recommendations provided in the attached document. Those recommendations will guide the ongoing work of the Task Force and inform any future policy considerations around the development and implementation of a Minnesota-made exchange. Recommendations are broken into four specific categories, including:
1) Adverse Selection – Recommendations to ensure a well-functioning market that provides fair prices for insurance and a level playing field with greater market competition on value.
2) Financing – Recommendations to ensure fair and equitable long-term financing starting in 2015.
3) Navigators and Brokers – Recommendations to ensure all consumers and businesses served by a Minnesota-made exchange will get the assistance they need and want.
4) Governance – Recommendations to ensure a sustainable governance structure that is responsive and accountable.
“I want to thank the members of the Task Force for their months of hard work and thoughtful collaboration in this important effort,” said Commissioner Rothman, who chairs the Task Force.
“This broad, bipartisan coalition of businesses, consumers, and health care stakeholders agree that now is the time to act on a Minnesota-made exchange. Under a tight deadline, it is important that we move quickly and carefully to ensure Minnesota stays ahead of the curve, and maintains its nation-leading position in health care affordability, quality, and innovation.”
The Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in 2010 requires states to develop and implement their own insurance exchanges. States have less than a year to get their exchanges up-and-running. By January 1, 2013, Minnesota must prove its exchange will be ready for use by consumers on January 1, 2014, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will implement a one-size-fits-all federal solution in Minnesota.
To learn more about how an exchange works, receive updates on the work of the Task Force, and follow ongoing efforts to develop a Minnesota-made exchange, visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce website or the Health Reform Minnesota website.