ST. PAUL, Minn.—Today, President Biden signed into law a sweeping investment in health care affordability for Americans that will help keep health care costs in check for over 70,000 Minnesotans.
The new federal legislation, called the Inflation Reduction Act, extends enhanced subsidies for private health plans purchased through MNsure, Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace. First introduced in 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan, the enhanced subsidies made existing tax credits more generous and expanded eligibility for tax credits to include more middle-income families. The average annual savings for MNsure enrollees is $6,100 per household for 2022.
The bad news is they don't include the number of enrollees for each carrier, and even the SERFF database filings don't include that information...yet. Fortunately, MNsure does provide a carrier breakout of the individual market...but this only includes on-exchange enrollment, which means PreferredOne (which only offers ACA plans off-exchange) isn't listed, nor are any off-exchange enrollees for the other five exchange carriers.
As for the small group market, the most recent hard enrollment data I have for that is from 2021, which means it's likely not terribly accurate anymore (especially since PreferredOne appears to be dropping out of the MN small group market entirely next year). In addition, UnitedHealthcare scrapped all of their sm. group offerings last year and replaced them with new ones, so I have no clue how many enrollees they have at the moment.
CMS Approves 12-month Extension of Postpartum Coverage in Washington State
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), approved Washington state’s extension of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage for 12 months after pregnancy. As a result, up to an additional 12,000 people annually will now have access to Medicaid or CHIP coverage for a full year after pregnancy. With today’s approval, an estimated 265,000 Americans annually in 15 states and D.C. have gained access to 12 months of postpartum coverage.
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that during the Biden-Harris Administration 253,000 parents have gained access to 12 months of postpartum coverage through Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) extensions. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have made addressing the maternal mortality and morbidity crisis a key priority for their Administration.
“The Minnesota Heath Access Survey shows that more Minnesota families have been able to access and maintain their health insurance during this critical time,” said MNsure CEO Nate Clark. “Minnesota has been able to reduce the uninsured rate thanks in part to targeted, effective policies, including the expansion of premium tax credits that lower the cost of monthly premiums for private health plans available through MNsure.”
ST. PAUL, Minn.—More than 1,100 residents used the Minnesota Insulin Safety Net Program to access over $6 million worth of insulin in 2021, according to a recent report from the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy.
Together, MNsure and the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy are reminding all Minnesotans that this program is available to provide fast, reliable help for those who need insulin and may be struggling to afford this life-saving drug.
For residents who are in immediate need of assistance – that is, have less than a seven-day supply of insulin and will likely face significant health consequences without it – the urgent need program enables eligible Minnesotans to receive a 30-day supply of insulin right away at their pharmacy and pay no more than a $35 co-pay, one time per year.
ST. PAUL, Minn.—March 23 marks the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which enacted patient protections that make health coverage fairer and easier to understand, and the financial help that makes it more affordable. With the help of the ACA and MNsure, Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace, Minnesota’s uninsured rate has gone from above 9% in 2010 to 4% today.
While the ACA helped thousands of Minnesotans access comprehensive health coverage, the 2021 federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) COVID Relief package made the most significant improvements to the law since its inception. In Minnesota, the ARP lowered costs for tens of thousands, and expanded access to subsidies to those who had previously been ineligible. The cost savings made available through the ARP drove the highest enrollment on record for MNsure. Over 134,000 Minnesotans -- a 10% increase from last year -- signed up for coverage for 2022.
The mother of a Minneapolis man who died because he could not afford his Type 1 diabetes medication is asking Minnesotans with an urgent need for insulin to seek assistance through a state program that she helped champion.
In a new video called the “Alec Smith Story,” Nicole Smith-Holt urges anyone struggling to afford their insulin to sign up for the Minnesota Insulin Safety Net Program. Her son Alec died in 2017 at the age of 26 from ketoacidosis after rationing his insulin to make it last longer.
“I encourage anyone who has diabetes and struggling to afford the medication to keep advocating for yourself,’” Smith-Holt said. “I don’t want someone in an emergency like Alec was to be turned away at the pharmacy or start rationing their insulin. You have options.”
Expanded Cost Savings Fuel Record Health Insurance Sign-Ups Through MNsure
Over 134,000 Minnesotans found coverage through Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace during open enrollment period
ST. PAUL, Minn.—A record number of Minnesotans signed up for private health insurance plans during MNsure’s recent open enrollment period. 134,257 Minnesotans signed up for 2022 health insurance coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace between November 1, 2021, and January 15, 2022. The record number of sign-ups is 14,988 more than in the previous year’s open enrollment period and represents a 10% increase.
I'd proceed with caution about this figure, however. The official CMS Open Enrollment Periord report seems to always come in a few thousand lower than MNsure's official QHP tallies. Last year, for instance, the CMS report put Minnesota at 112,804, around 6,400 fewer than MNsure's 119,269 total.