Public can test drive health insurance marketplace Monday - Bring Me The News

Public can test drive health insurance marketplace Monday

Several companies have put their prototypes online for the public to test. The health insurance exchange is a cornerstone of the federal health reform law and is meant to give people looking to enroll an easy way to compare and purchase plans.
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Several companies have put their prototypes online for the public to test. The health insurance exchange is a cornerstone of the federal health reform law and is meant to give people looking to enroll an easy way to compare and purchase plans.

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U law profs: Loophole in health reform would let employers dump sickest workers on public

Two law professors at the University of Minnesota say a loophole in the federal health reform plan could leave the public caring for the sickest people and put the proposed online exchanges at financial risk. They tell MPR the law might make it possible for self-insured employers to create plans that aren't attractive to people with serious health needs, leaving them to seek coverage from a public insurance exchange.

Minnesota signs $41M contract to develop online health exchange

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has selected a Virginia-based government services firm to develop the state's health insurance marketplace required by the federal health care overhaul, the Pioneer Press reports. Individuals and small businesses will be able to compare and purchase coverage online beginning late next year.

Minn. health insurers issue nearly $9M in rebates

Nationwide, insurance companies are paying out $1 billion to consumers this month, including $8.9 million from five Minnesota insurance companies. Bloomington-based HealthPartners will provide the most at $6.8 million. The rebates are required by the federal Affordable Care Act, which set a limit on the share of premium revenue that health insurers could dedicate to administration, marketing and profit.

IBM among vendors to help design Minnesota's health insurance exchange

IBM software will be used to determine Minnesotan's eligibility for the various programs to be offered through the online insurance platform, the Star Tribune reports. Virginia-based government services firm Maximus was awarded a $41 million contract last week to take the lead on building the new marketplace -- a component of the federal health care law.

UnitedHealth pledges to keep health care overhaul provisions

Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth, the nation's largest health insurer, told the Associated Press it plans to keep and extend some provisions of the federal health-reform legislation regardless of whether the law is overturned. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling later this month on the law's constitutionality.