House Health Approves MnCARE Public Option/Single Payor Study Bills
The House Health Finance and Policy Committee on Tuesday heard two bills that have big implications for the private health insurance marketplace:
HF96 (Long, DFL-Minneapolis) establishes the MinnesotaCare public option for persons with incomes over the MinnesotaCare income limit of 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines (FPG). Implementation of the public option would be effective January 1, 2026, but only if the Commissioner of Human Services certifies to the Legislature it will not result in the loss of federal basic health program funding. The bill also makes other changes to MinnesotaCare, including requiring a study of a small employer public option and providing eligibility for undocumented noncitizens. The bill was supported by advocacy and labor organizations and opposed by the Agents Coalition, the Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Hospital Association. The Agents Coalition represents multiple insurance associations, including NAIFA. Testifying for the Coalition, Shawnee Christensen said that the bill would result in low payments to providers, allow the state plan to compete with the private market with no reserve requirements or having to meet current licensing and regulatory requirements placed on private insurers. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus health finance bill. This means it will be included in the larger health finance bill that funds much of DHS, a bill all but guaranteed to pass.