After a lengthy floor debate that lasted into Monday evening, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HF 5, a bill that establishes a state-based health insurance exchange.
“Individuals, families, and businesses in northern Minnesota have been squeezed by rising health care costs for far too long,” said Rep. Anzelc. “Thankfully, we’re on track to set up an exchange that provides relief by offering tax credits and increasing competition.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, states face a March 31 deadline to approve state-based exchanges. For states that do not meet that deadline, the federal government will step in and implement an exchange run by the Department of Health and Human Services.
“The last thing northern Minnesotans need is a one-size-fits-all exchange run by the federal government,” added Rep. Anzelc. “Minnesota is well known as a national leader when it comes to health care coverage. We should keep it that way. An exchange built around our state’s unique needs is the best way to reduce costs and keep our residents healthy.”
Minnesota’s exchange is estimated to expand health coverage to over 300,000 individuals who previously could not afford or qualify for insurance. It will also save families an average of roughly $500 on health care costs. In addition, tax credits will be available for qualifying businesses with less than 25 employees.
The full Minnesota Senate will take up their own health exchange bill this Thursday. Before final legislation heads to Governor Dayton’s desk, each chamber must reconcile any differences between their respective legislation.