Current Status in Establishing Exchange:
Declared State-based Exchange.
· The Minnesota Department of Commerce received a federal Exchange Planning grant of $1 million in February 2011.
- In August 2011, the Department of Commerce also received a Level One Establishment grant of $4.2 million to develop an information technology infrastructure for the exchange and establish an initial governance structure within the Department of Commerce. In February 2012, the Department of Commerce received a second Level One Establishment grant of $26 million to support the development and execution of work plans, timelines, and budget and cost-allocation estimates through 2014.
- However, in 2011, the Minnesota legislature authorized the Department of Commerce to spend no more than $28 million on exchange planning, which meant the state turned down about $3 million in federal grant funds.
- In September 2012, Minnesota received a third Level One grant of $42.5 million to continue the exchange planning process, specifically regarding Navigators, brokers, a quality rating system, and IT development.
- In addition, Minnesota, along with nine other states, is receiving technical assistance from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the State Health Reform Assistance Network; this assistance includes help with setting up health insurance exchanges, expanding Medicaid to newly eligible populations, streamlining eligibility and enrollment systems, instituting insurance market reforms and using data to drive decisions.
- In January 2012, the Advisory Task Force recommended that a variety of funding sources should be used for the Exchange and that they should not disproportionately burden one group, but should be proportionate to the benefits received by the paying group. In August 2012, the finance workgroup explored multiple long-term funding options for the exchange and compared different options, including a user fee, an assessment on premiums in the exchange, an assessment on fully-insured products sold by insurers, a broad-based health care tax, an appropriation, or some combination of these options. The taskforce plans to recommend a funding strategy, in part based on a subcontractor’s projection of budgeting needs and ongoing operation costs of the exchange.
- Since the state has not determined a benchmark EHB plan, Minnesota will default to the largest small-group plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield Major Medical.
· On July 10, 2012, Governor Dayton issued a declaration letter verifying Minnesota’s intent to seek conditional approval of a state-based health insurance exchange consistent with the ACA. To complete the exchange blueprint, Minnesota must also submit an application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by December 14, 2012, with information about the state’s plans to operate a fully state-based exchange.
· Governor Dayton has indicated that key policy decisions would be made during the 2013 legislative session.The Advisory Task Force is expected to provide revised recommendation to the Legislature and Governor by the end of December 2012, in anticipation of the next legislative session.
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