State hustles to implement buyer-friendly health insurance marketplace

Now that the federal health care overhaul has been mostly upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, Minnesota officials are working fast to design a online health insurance marketplace for people to enter basic information, learn whether they qualify for subsidies, compare the options and buy a policy.
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Now that the federal health care overhaul has been mostly upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, Minnesota officials are working fast to design a online health insurance marketplace for people to enter basic information, learn whether they qualify for subsidies, compare the options and buy a policy.

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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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Approximately 3,100 Minnesotans have lost state-provided health insurance after a special audit of public employees and their dependents by the Minnesota Management and Budget Agency. Some relatives of employees lost coverage because they were ineligible, but hundreds may have been dropped simply because they missed the deadline or submitted incomplete or improper documentation.

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Gov. Dayton may not be able to create an exchange without legislators on board, and Republicans aren't likely to support a state-run insurance marketplace. The problem is the federal health care overall requires that states show they can run their own exchanges, and if they can't, the federal government will step in to do it for them.

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