Senator Matt Little STATEMENT:
“I campaigned on changing the way we do politics. This week I crossed party lines and voted for the new healthcare bill that was an agreement between the House and Senate. This new version removed harmful provisions that would’ve allowed insurance companies to carve out essential benefits, but most importantly, it guaranteed premium relief this year, not in 2018,” said Sen. Matt Little (DFL-Lakeville).” The bill also included provisions to make it more affordable for small businesses to self-insure and to allow agricultural co-ops to offer insurance to their members. I’m not saying this bill is perfect, it’s not. But to move forward and get things done, we must learn to work together where we can; voting yes on this bill was one of those opportunities.”
The bill passed by the Senate on Thursday is an agreement between Republicans and Democrats to invest $312 million in 25 percent across-the-board subsidies for Minnesotans who purchase their insurance on the individual market and who do not receive federal tax credits. Under the plan, the state reimburses health insurance plans, who would provide the relief to individuals. People who are eligible for the subsidy should expect to see relief on their premium bills by April or May and will receive retroactive payment for full premiums paid dating back to January 2017.
The bill also includes several health insurance market reforms. One reform troubling many remains: opening up the nonprofit-dominated individual marketplace to for-profit HMOs. This could have significant impacts for rural and smaller hospitals and medical providers. This is something that lawmakers will need to monitor in order to ensure Minnesotans have access to the highest quality of health care.