Minnesota takes next step in health insurance exchange
NEWS RELEASE St. Paul, MN – Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson and Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger today (Monday, July 16) announced that Minnesota has entered into a $41 million dollar contract with MAXIMUS, Inc. (MMS) to design and develop the technical capabilities, including a consumer friendly website, for Minnesota’s health insurance exchange and Medicaid modernization.
“This contract is a significant milestone in the design and development of a Minnesota health insurance exchange,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “We can now move forward on developing the technology backbone of the exchange, a user friendly tool that will help more than 1.2 million Minnesotans choose the quality coverage they need at a price they can afford.”
Minnesota’s health insurance exchange is planned to launch in October 2013. One in five Minnesotans are expected to use the exchange as a new way to choose their health coverage, compare policies, and help determine whether they are eligible for public programs or federal tax credits.
• Minnesota’s health exchange is expected to save Minnesota families over a billion dollars in health care costs annually
• The average Minnesota family buying insurance through the exchange will save $500 in health care costs
• After federal tax credits, individual consumers will see an average decrease in premiums of more than 20% for insurance purchased through the exchange
• By 2016, roughly 300,000 currently uninsured Minnesotans will gain coverage through the exchange. About 200,000 small business employers and employees will choose their health insurance through the exchange. In addition, approximately 700,000 Minnesotans will enroll in Minnesota’s public health care programs through the exchange
• Small employers will save up to 7.5% off of premium costs by using the exchange while those with fewer than 25 employees eligible for tax credits will save even more
“Nearly 700,000 Minnesotans are expected to enroll in Medicaid coverage through the exchange,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “Modernizing the state’s eligibility and enrollment system through the exchange is an important reform that will simplify the process for hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans while saving time and taxpayer dollars.”
Department of Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger added, “An exchange will give all Minnesotans access to high quality and affordable care and give us new opportunities to address health disparities in our state.”
The contract with MAXIMUS (MMS) covers the development of technology supporting various functions that a health insurance exchange would need to perform. Those functions include individual eligibility determination and enrollment, small employer eligibility and enrollment, certification and display of health benefit plan options and costs, navigator and agent/broker listing, display of health care provider information, premium aggregation and payment, and account administration.
The contract also includes major technology improvements to Minnesota’s Medicaid systems to provide streamlined eligibility determinations, enhance customer service, allow for timely eligibility changes, and promote ongoing program integrity. In addition, the new technology system will allow the Department of Health to provide information on provider quality. Finally, the technology will allow the Health and Commerce departments to fulfill their roles as the certifier of Qualified Health Plans.