MNsure Releases Grants; New Rates Coming Later

Updated: 09/03/2014 7:36 AM
Created: 09/02/2014 7:11 PM
By: Tom Hauser

MNsure will grant $4.6 million to help dozens of organization reach low-income, immigrant and other hard-to-reach groups gain access to health insurance. 

The grants will go out much earlier than last year when most of the so-called health insurance "navigators" didn't receive funding until after open enrollment began in mid-November.

"This year's grant program is coordinated, comprehensive and designed to help reach those people who lack coverage," MNsure CEO Scott Leitz said.

What Leitz can't tell us yet is what the health insurance rates will look like for 2015.

"That's an issue for the state Commerce Department, and they really control that process," Leitz said at a news conference announcing the grants.

Minnesota Commerce Department spokeswoman Anne O'Connor says the rate-review process is "top secret." She says state law allows the preliminary proposals by insurance companies to remain non-public until final rates are approved.  She says the department is still "working toward" an early October rate release.

Meanwhile, Leitz says he's confident the whole MNsure enrollment process will be smoother than last year's rocky rollout.

"The one thing that we know is that the system will be better this fall than it was last fall," he said. "Progress has been made on the system, but I think anyone who will be signing on will also say the system isn't quite a perfect one."

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