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Congressman Tom Emmer

Representing the 6th District of Minnesota

Minnesota Congressional Delegation Urges Departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury to Grant Minnesota’s Reinsurance Waiver

September 15, 2017
Press Release

Based on preliminary rates, federal approval of Minnesota’s reinsurance program would help bring down premiums for several individual market health insurance plans in the state. Without federal approval, rates for many individual market plans could increase substantially.

In a letter, the federal lawmakers urge Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to complete their consideration of Minnesota’s waiver application as soon as possible

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and Representatives Collin Peterson, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz, Rick Nolan, Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer, and Jason Lewis today urged the U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to grant Minnesota’s reinsurance waiver. Based on preliminary rates, federal approval of Minnesota’s reinsurance program would help bring down premiums for several individual market health insurance plans in the state. Without federal approval, rates for many individual market plans could increase substantially. In a letter, the federal lawmakers urged HHS Secretary Tom Price and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to complete their consideration of Minnesota’s waiver application as soon as possible.

“On July 31, 2017, the Minnesota Department of Commerce released two sets of proposed individual health insurance rates: one set that assumes federal approval of the Minnesota reinsurance program and one that does not. These proposed rates show that federal approval of Minnesota's waiver application would have a significant impact on cost. By contrast, without federal approval, rates for many individual market plans could increase substantially,” the lawmakers wrote. “This matter is urgent because the Minnesota Department of Commerce must imminently finalize approval of the individual market rates. Accordingly, on behalf of our constituents, we urge you to complete your consideration of Minnesota’s waiver application as soon as possible.” 

The full text of the lawmakers’ letter is below.

Dear Secretary Mnuchin and Secretary Price,

We write to request that the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant Minnesota's application for a Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver as soon as possible.

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Legislature voted to establish a state-based reinsurance program, the Minnesota Premium Security Program (MPSP). The Governor and both Democratic and Republican leaders strongly support this effort to address premium costs and access to affordable healthcare in our state. On July 31, 2017, the Minnesota Department of Commerce released two sets of proposed individual health insurance rates: one set that assumes federal approval of the Minnesota reinsurance program and one that does not. These proposed rates show that federal approval of Minnesota's waiver application would have a significant impact on cost. By contrast, without federal approval, rates for many individual market plans could increase substantially.

This matter is urgent because the Minnesota Department of Commerce must imminently finalize approval of the individual market rates. Accordingly, on behalf of our constituents, we urge you to complete your consideration of Minnesota’s waiver application as soon as possible. 

Sincerely,

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