Minnesota House passes MNsure rebate and reform bill

The Minnesota House of Representative passed a health insurance rebate and reform bill at the Capitol Thursday evening.

The bill offers a 25 percent rebate on health insurance premiums, but it also requires the state to verify that recipients are issued the checks based on need. Minnesotans who earn between $35,640 and $95,040 and families of four who make between $72,900 and $194,400 would qualify.

The Dayton administration says that could take up to a year instead of letting the insurance plans issue the rebates now.

"This bill we're passing today just further delays relief for Minnesota families who need it now,” House Minority leader Rep. Melissa Hortman said.

"I think the challenge here is not just to do what we can to get people some relief here in 2017, but to make sure that we're not making the problem worse in 2018,” Rep. Joe Hoppe, the bill’s author, said.

HF1 passed on a 73-54 vote. The House, Senate and governor’s office will now negotiate the final version in a conference committee.

One of the big differences that need to be worked out is a reinsurance program that is in the Senate bill. The negotiations are expected to begin this weekend.

Part of the reforms in the bill includes allowing people to keep their doctors for 2017 if they've been forced to switch plans. It would also allow for-profit HMOs to operate in the state.