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At its 10-year anniversary, Minnesota's health insurance marketplace has reason to celebrate: a record of successfully delivering benefits to Minnesota families. MNsure has matured in its operational efficiency and customer service and has achieved record enrollment while delivering nearly $2 billion in health care cost savings to Minnesotans over 10 years.
At the end of February, President Joe Biden remarked on the progress his administration has made to strengthen the foundations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the American Rescue Plan Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Biden said the ACA and its recent improvements have given Americans "a little bit of breathing room," meaning the protection of comprehensive health coverage that the ACA established for millions of Americans for the first time.
MNsure has provided that "breathing room" for thousands of Minnesotans since Gov. Mark Dayton signed House File 5 on March 20, 2013 and established Minnesota's health insurance marketplace. Creating MNsure was a key step toward implementing the ACA in our state.
As MNsure marks its 10-year anniversary, the marketplace has many successes to be proud of, thanks to the efforts of its hardworking agency staff and MNsure-certified brokers and navigators. MNsure has focused on improving its technology as well as the Contact Center, which is where many Minnesotans connect with MNsure for information or for application and enrollment help. Today when consumers call the Contact Center, they experience shorter wait times and fewer transferred calls, and have more languages immediately available to them. But there is more work to do to improve the consumer experience.
During this legislative session the Minnesota Legislature has an opportunity to invest in MNsure, replace the core technology, and make it easier than ever for Minnesotans to enroll and maintain coverage. The Legislature should act swiftly to ensure that MNsure can offer upgraded systems.
Since 2013, Minnesotans have used MNsure to sign up for over 1 million private health insurance plans, and hundreds of thousands of residents have applied for public health coverage through Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare each year. Together with over 2,000 certified navigator and broker partners, MNsure has played an important role in reducing the statewide uninsured rate from 8.2% in 2013 to a record low of 4%.
MNsure has also delivered nearly $2 billion in health care savings to Minnesotans over the last 10 years. In 2022, 60% of households enrolled in qualified health plans received tax credits averaging more than $6,100 per year. Minnesotans saved over $267 million on their health insurance costs through MNsure in 2022 alone.
Consider Lisa Newton, owner and operator of Lisa's House Cleaning & More LLC in Mankato, who recently shared her story: Before accessing MNsure tax credits, she paid $720 per month for her health insurance. After applying the tax credits, she pays about $320 per month. By signing up through MNsure and taking advantage of the financial help that's available, Lisa is saving nearly $5,000 annually on her health insurance costs. That's $400 of "breathing room" each month.
On March 15, my time as CEO of MNsure concluded and the marketplace will soon begin its next chapter under new leadership. For my part, I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in its extraordinary development. MNsure has made enormous strides to become an efficient organization that lives up to the transformational potential that many of us believed in from day one.
Nate Clark retired last week as CEO of MNsure.