11/16/2012 10:14:43 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: John Pollard
Legislative and Communications Director
ST. PAUL, MN - Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) announced today that the state has submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the Blueprint Certification Application for a Minnesota health insurance exchange. Application documents are posted online for public review.
"Completing this application in is an important step," said Commissioner Jim Schowalter. "But we still have a lot ahead, such as resolving policy choices being considered by the Exchange Task Force, listening to stakeholders, and working with legislators to get a bill done early in session. All of those steps are critical to creating a successful Minnesota exchange."
In order for Minnesota to be able to have a state based exchange, federal law had required Minnesota to file an application by November 16 demonstrating our ability to be operational in time for open enrollment in October 2013. Because Minnesota is applying for conditional approval, policy decisions in areas such as governance, financing or navigators/brokers do not need to be finalized. Instead, the application must document sufficient infrastructure and functional planning and development, and provide a plan and timeline for completing all remaining requirements.
Exchange Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov added, Although the federal government recently extended the submission deadline to December 14, we were prepared to meet the original deadline and decided to submit the application as planned.
Minnesota's Health Insurance Exchange is a new online marketplace where individuals, families and small employers will be able to get quality health coverage at a fair price. The Exchange will empower more than 1 million Minnesotans to choose the health insurance they need at a price they can afford, saving $1 billion every year on health care costs. It will facilitate enrollment in public health insurance and private insurance products, calculate eligibility for tax credits and allow Minnesotans to shop and compare between insurance products. The Exchange will also provide information on quality of health insurers and health care providers.
Minnesota also announced its application to the federal government for a fourth Level One Exchange Establishment grant. If approved, this additional $39 million would complete the state's design and development work through December 2013. These federal funds are subject to the normal state appropriations process and will be presented to the 2013 Legislature for approval. This would bring the total federal Exchange funds received by Minnesota to $110 million.
Enrollment in the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange begins October 1, 2013. For more information about the new online health insurance marketplace, how it will benefit Minnesota consumers and businesses, and how to provide input or learn more about the stakeholder process visit www.mn.gov/HealthInsuranceExchange.