Health insurance companies pay $1.4 million in rebates to Minnesotans

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More than 9,000 Minnesotans are expected to receive health insurance rebate checks as part of a requirement of the Affordable Care Act, FOX 9 reports.

The rebate rule requires insurance companies to spend 80 percent of revenues on actual patient care versus things like administrative costs. If companies don't meet the requirement, the difference must be refunded to the consumer.

The Star Tribune says health insurers PreferredOne and Connecticut General, or CIGNA, are sending back about $1.4 million in rebates to Minnesotans, averaging about $300 per check.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who helped get the provision into the federal law, says insurance companies are doing a better job of complying with the rule this year, according to the Pioneer Press.

Last year, insurers paid back $8.9 million in rebates to state, nearly six times the refund amount this year.

So who gets a check?

ABC News says one third of the 8.5 million Americans receiving rebates are those who purchased a health policy on their own with after-tax dollars.

The remaining recipients who receive health insurance through an employer will not necessarily receive a check, but might see reduced premiums or other benefits determined by the employer.

The Pioneer Press breaks it down in Minnesota: Golden-Valley based PreferredOne is issuing nearly $1 million in rebates to be split among $5,000 individual subscribers. CIGNA is issuing more than $450,000 in rebates to employers who purchase coverage in the state's "large group" market, typically workplaces with more than 50 employees.

The White House says those who do not receive rebates are already experiencing savings and better quality care built-in to their health insurance plans, ABC News reported.

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