Printer Friendly

HEALTHRIGHT LEGISLATION IS 'WRONG' FOR MINNESOTA; WILL INCREASE COSTS AND ADD MORE PEOPLE TO LIST OF UNINSURED

 HEALTHRIGHT LEGISLATION IS 'WRONG' FOR MINNESOTA;
 WILL INCREASE COSTS AND ADD MORE PEOPLE TO LIST OF UNINSURED
 FERGUS FALLS, Minn., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The bipartisan health care bill announced earlier this week will increase the cost of health insurance for most employees of small businesses and for most self- employed people, such as farmers. In addition, the number of uninsured Minnesotans will jump dramatically.
 Those are the findings of a report released today by Communicating for Agriculture (CA), a national rural advocacy association headquartered in Fergus Falls.
 CA called on the legislature, particularly the sponsors, to require insurance companies to disclose in advance the amount of rate increases they will announce as a result of guaranteeing issue and implementing rating restrictions.
 Findings of the report include:
 -- Of the 400,000 Minnesotans without health insurance, about 90 percent are medically insurable but cannot afford the cost of health insurance;
 -- Because the HealthRight proposal reforms underwriting practices for small-employer groups by guaranteeing the issue of health insurance, it will result in a one-time rate increase of 25-35 percent for employers with four or fewer employees. Those with 5-24 employees will have an increase in costs of from 5-25 percent. The cost of insurance for about 20 percent of the businesses -- those in high-risk occupations -- will decrease.
 -- The effect of restrictions on rates will increase the cost of insuring young workers under 30 by as much as 80 percent, while reducing the cost for those aged 60-64 by about 15 percent.
 -- The rate restrictions also apply to individuals who buy their own health insurance. Because the results of such rating restrictions are felt on an individual basis -- instead of being spread over a small group -- those in their 20s will see premiums increase by about 100 percent; those in their 30s will receive a 50-100 percent increase; those in their 40s, a 5-10 percent increase; while those in their 50s will see a slight decrease; those 60-64 will see a reduction of about 20 percent.
 -- Because most of the uninsured are in households headed by people under the age of 30, and because 40 percent of the uninsured are either self-employed or are full-time employees of small businesses, it becomes clear that a dramatic increase in cost of insurance will result in a higher -- not lower -- overall rate of uninsured in Minnesota. People become uninsured because they no longer can afford to keep their existing plan.
 "No one is denying that insurance costs will rise for most people who pay their own insurance, and for very small employers. But there has been no public disclosure of this vital information. There is no doubt insurance reform is needed. But the HealthRight legislation lets the insurance industry adjust rates to make up for the sins of the past, while, in effect, punishing the victims by making consumers pay more for insurance," noted Stephen Rufer, CA president.
 "This legislation will redistribute health care dollars so that the young pay for the old; the healthy pay for the sick; and the small- business person pays for a level of coverage that large employers don't have to offer because big companies self-insure and are thus exempt from state law under ERISA. This is not a health "right" bill. It's health "wrong," noted Rufer.
 "This information should be mailed to each insured. Only in this way will the consumer fully understand how this legislation will affect him or her.
 "It is our belief that a young farmer who is told his insurance cost will increase from $4,000 a year to $6,000 or $7,000 will see this legislation for what it is -- a tax increase, sanctioned by the legislature and delivered by the insurance industry," said Rufer.
 CA further faults the HealthRight legislation for not establishing a mechanism to assist those who drop their insurance because they can no longer afford it.
 "Yes, they can enroll in a subsidized state program but only after being totally uninsured for four months," said Rufer. "And that option only gives them out-patient care. If they have a heart attack or need hospitalization, they would still lose the farm...the business...or their life savings because the state plan doesn't provide comprehensive care."
 (Communicating for Agriculture is a national non-profit, non- partisan rural advocacy association headquartered in Fergus Falls. The group has worked for many years at both the state and national levels to ensure equity in health care for rural people -- particularly in the area of ratings reform and the effects of reforms on small business insurance costs.)
 -0- 3/11/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Smedsrud of Smedsrud & Associates, 612-854-9005 or 800-445-1525, for Communicating for Agriculture/ CO: Communicating for Agriculture ST: Minnesota IN: SU:


AL -- MN013 -- 7541 03/11/92 17:34 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 11, 1992
Words:792
Previous Article:GRAND CASINOS REPORTS THAT PROFITABLE SECOND QUARTER MET EXPECTATIONS FOR SEASONALLY SLOW QUARTER
Next Article:FIRST FEDERAL CAPITAL CORP ANNOUNCES STOCK PURCHASES PURSUANT TO DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLAN
Topics:


Related Articles
GARDNER HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL TAKES AIM AT CONTROLLING SKYROCKETING COSTS
MINNESOTA COACT AND MINNESOTA SENIOR FEDERATION WILL ANNOUNCE AMENDMENTS TO HEALTHRIGHT LEGISLATION
HEALTH ACCESS BILL UNDERMINES HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
AARP APPLAUDS BIPARTISAN GROUP CHARGED WITH STATE HEALTH CARE REFORM
NEW JERSEY COURT RULING COULD UNRAVEL HEALTHRIGHT; ERISA RULING MAY IMPACT FUNDING MECHANISM
BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD, MINNESOTACARE BRING FIRST-TIME HEALTH COVERAGE TO SMALL BUSINESSES
HealthRight, Inc. and Value Behavioral Health Partner for Access to Health Care; Medicaid Population Benefits
Unfamiliar faces: who are the uninsured? Health insurers and policymakers who know the answer are more likely to contribute to solving the problem.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters