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Rochester-area legislators would like lower MNsure costs in their region

Rochester-area legislators would like to find a way to change the way MNsure divides the state for the health insurance exchange.

MNsure’s exchange offers different plans and pricing in nine regions; Region 1, which includes the Rochester area and the Mayo Clinic, has the highest prices. For 2015, the second year of the exchange, there are some lower cost plans offered in that region, but it remains high, due to the premium care at Mayo, officials said.

Legislators from that area, from both political parties, would like to reduce the number of regions, or create one pool for the entire state, in order to reduce prices for their constituents, says the Rochester Post Bulletin.

Sen. Carla Nelson, a Republican from Rochester, said increasing the risk pool was one of the promises of the Affordable Care Act.

“We definitely need to look at how we adjust those risk pool lines because they are certainly to our disadvantage and not even true to what MNsure was based upon,” Nelson said.

Rochester DFL Rep. Tina Liebling, tried unsuccessfully to pass a bill last session to bring down the area’s high rates. She told a legislative preview in Rochester that she’d ideally like to see single-payer health care insurance, but that’s not going to happen any time soon.

DFL Rep. Kim Norton, though, says the Legislature might not look kindly on changes that benefit only Rochester-area residents.

“Imagine what the folks in the rest of the state, how they will respond if we say, ‘Gee, we’re paying more in southern Minnesota and so we’re going to ask everyone else in the state to raise their rates for us,’ ” Norton said.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Beth-Ann Bloom on 12/22/2014 - 03:09 pm.

    Another approach

    Perhaps the legislators should look into why the same care is more expensive at Mayo in comparison with the rest of the state. This maybe a good time to look behind the Mayo reputation and see if there care is as cost effective as they claim.

  2. Submitted by Bob Petersen on 12/23/2014 - 08:12 am.

    So is MNSure a Success?

    So the costs are too high on MNSure? Then another special request on this? So the solution is that you have a DFLer who wants that area’s rates artificially dropped…but she doesn’t know…or won’t admit…that then the rest of the state…er, taxpayers…will have to subsidize even more.

    Just more proof that this is merely about wealth distribution than what’s it’s intended for.

  3. Submitted by Alan Muller on 12/23/2014 - 09:42 am.

    Ha: “Destination Medical Center?”

    The time to bring this up was when the State was shoveling half a billion dollars to Mayo without any provisions for improving health care for Minnesotans. The idea was to create a more appealing “Destination Medical Center” for wealthy people from overseas. I didn’t hear thoughtful questioning of the absurdity and injustice of this.

    Mayo seems to generally provide a high quality of medical care and I appreciate having access to it. But, there are still way too many Minnesotans who do not have access to high quality medical care and that should be the focus of attention.

    Appears to me the MNSure is a step in the right direction and in effect is shining lights on some of the problems with health care policy and the excessive influence of providers, insurance interests, and so on. What we need now is the courage to move forward towards solutions…..

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