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MNsure Board Adopts Balanced Three-Year Financial Plan

3/12/2015 10:14:43 AM


CONTACT: Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Coordinator

ST. PAUL, Minn.-The MNsure Board of Directors today adopted MNsure's balanced three-year financial plan, which was presented by MNsure's Finance Work Group during today's board meeting. The budget presented today is structurally balanced and based on and in line with data from two previous open enrollment periods.

The balanced budget will be submitted to the Minnesota Legislature by March 15.

"We have two years of data to support making important budget refinements," said CEO Scott Leitz. "We have made smart, thoughtful adjustments to our financial plan, and we have a sound and balanced budget to present to the Legislature by the end of this week."

"MNsure must operate as any revenue-based business would, making necessary refinements and adjustments to our operating budget," said Leitz. "This is standard procedure for any business-like organization."

The balanced three-year financial plan includes funding for robust customer service in the MNsure Contact Center and across the state, continues to prioritize IT improvements and makes budget tweaks based on past experience.

Modifications to the current three-year plan include:

  • A projected $28,785,000 in premium withhold revenue over the three-year period. These changes are the result of adjustments to future enrollment projections.
  • An adjusted budget reserve total of $645,000, reflecting a reduction of $618,000. This is a reduction from the budget reserve presented in January of $1.23 million.
  • Administrative spending is being reduced overall, in part by adjusting the budget for facilities, support staff and attrition. No current staff are affected by these changes. An analysis of facilities payments found that current payments, such as the lease MNsure pays for its office space, are less than expected and have been adjusted accordingly. Additionally, in line with past experience, the number of payments to navigators for QHP enrollments has been reduced. Regulatory spending has also been evaluated and adjusted down to reflect actual spending versus previously budgeted amounts.

Assessing and adjusting enrollment projections were an integral part of today's balanced budget. "Based on the last two open enrollment periods, we are assuming that we will see growth of about 35,000 new enrollees through 2017," said Leitz. "This reflects our best estimation that attrition and special enrollments will balance each other out in terms of total enrollment." MNsure anticipates a total of 130,000 individuals enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan (including both individual and SHOP enrollees) by the end of Enrollment Year 2017.

"MNsure enrolled 37,000 new enrollees for 2015. This financial plan is rigorous but also an honest assessment of where we think MNsure will be in 2017," added Leitz.

In past budgets, MNsure assumed an average premium increase of zero percent. Today's three-year financial plan assumes an average premium increase of two percent, taking into account factors that contribute to costs such as the plans consumers select year over year, metal levels chosen, rating areas, age, and more.

Enrollment continues to grow

MNsure also announced today that as of March 8, 183,018 Minnesotans have enrolled into comprehensive health insurance through MNsure. This includes 61,109 qualified health plan (QHP) enrollments, 31,070 new MinnesotaCare enrollees and 90,839 new Medical Assistance enrollees. The qualified health plan total includes both individual and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) enrollments.

Special Enrollment Periods are underway

Minnesotans who did not have coverage for all or part of 2014 and as a result are paying a 2014 tax penalty, and who also did not enroll into 2015 coverage, may be eligible to enroll into health insurance during the 2014 Tax Special Enrollment Period. This SEP, which is available until April 30, does not eliminate the consumer's tax penalty responsibility for 2014, but it significantly minimizes the penalty for 2015 if the consumer meets the requirements of this enrollment period and enrolls into 2015 coverage.

The Life Events Special Enrollment Period also is underway. Minnesotans who have had a qualifying life event, such as the loss of employer-sponsored coverage or the birth of a child, may be eligible to take advantage of this SEP.

Open enrollment for 2015 coverage began November 15, 2014,and ended February 15, 2015. Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year-round. As of May 2014, 95 percent of Minnesotans have health coverage-the highest percentage in state history. The 2016 open enrollment period is scheduled to begin November 1, 2015, and end on January 31, 2016.

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