Gov. Dayton signs reinsurance waiver, vows to fight cuts to MinnesotaCare

Gov. Mark Dayton speaks at a press conference.
Gov. Mark Dayton speaks at a press conference inside the Minnesota State Capitol on in St. Paul, Minn. on Friday May 26, 2017.
Evan Frost | MPR News File

Gov. Mark Dayton signed off on a federal waiver Monday allowing for Minnesota's new health care reinsurance program.

Reinsurance works like a safety net for health insurers — if an insurance company has to cover people with high medical expenses, the state will help cover part of the cost.

Because of the program, non-group, individual-market health insurance rates for next year will be about 20 percent lower than they otherwise would have been, insurers say. Still, some lawmakers wanted the governor to reject the waiver because in granting it, the Trump administration cut $369 million dollars in MinnesotaCare funding.

"I remain strongly opposed to the Trump administration's proposed cuts to MinnesotaCare," Dayton said in a statement.

Dayton contends Minnesota is still entitled to the money for MinnesotaCare and said he will continue efforts to get the funds restored.

"I have not waived those rights by signing this waiver," he said.

Regardless of what happens, Dayton said MinnesotaCare has sufficient reserves to cover recipients through 2018.

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