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Minn. legislature to vote whether to spend $542M on subsidies to insurers

The Minnesota House and Senate are expected to vote March 30 on a measure to spend $542 million of state funds to subsidize insurance companies' payments on unusually high claims, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The measure would create a 13-member panel, including representatives from the state and insurance companies, which would calculate a payment to be paid to an insurance company to cover part of the cost if an individual insurance customer's claims exceed $50,000. The payments would cover between 50% and 80% of the cost of the claim. The state will not make payments for claims that exceed $250,000.

But the insurers would not be able to include the new subsidy in their calculation of rates and health plan offerings for 2018 if the lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton do not reach an agreement by March 31, the news outlet reported.

The measure is expected to pass the legislature, as the Republican majority considers it necessary to keep insurers in the individual market and reduce rising premiums in the state, according to the report. However, Dayton has concerns about spending state money on a plan that does not require insurance companies to commit to staying in the individual market or to lowering premiums, according to the report.