Minnesota Senate approves health insurance relief package

Published 9:38 am Friday, January 13, 2017

ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s Senate has passed a bill providing relief for massive health insurance premium hikes.

But Thursday’s action on a major priority in the 2017 legislative session doesn’t mean the work is over. The House is expected to pass similar legislation next week, but they’ll need to iron out major differences with Gov. Mark Dayton before checks start going out.

Republicans who control the Legislature have advocated for income-based subsidies to offset the 50 percent to 67 percent hikes on the individual market this year. They’re also pushing for broader reforms like allowing for-profit insurers to sell plans in Minnesota.

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Dayton and fellow Democrats said the scaled relief is too cumbersome and could mean residents don’t get financial help until next year.