Common questions and answers about Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA). Click on the question to view the answer.
We will be seeking public comment in May to provide valuable feedback into the development of the transition plan. We anticipate release of a draft transition plan at the end of June with further opportunities for public comment after the draft plan is released. The final transition plan will be available by the end of August to ensure that MCHA enrollees will have the information they need as they consider the opportunities for open enrollment in the new market beginning October 1, 2013.
For additional information, please see the detailed timeline (.pdf)
There will be a variety of opportunities for the public to give comments on the MCHA transition. The formal Request for Comment period will begin in late May, providing an opportunity for individuals and organizations to offer comments and direction in the development of the transition plan. There will also be public meetings for people to provide feedback in person. By the end of June the Department expects to release the initial draft of the MCHA transition plan. Once that is completed, there will be a second round in July for public feedback on the draft transition plan. The Department anticipates there may be a need for specific subgroups of the MCHA population to provide input before the final transition plan is completed at the end of August.
MCHA will be updating enrollees of the opportunities for public feedback and the Department of Commerce will post information on our website, including the timeline and the format. Members who wish to submit feedback in the meantime may direct comments to MCHA.Comments@state.mn.us.
The MCHA Transition plan will identify:
• the ongoing needs of MHCA enrollees,
• the other coverage options that are available in the marketplace,
• the timeline when members might be expected to find new coverage in the market, and
• the impacts of an MCHA transition on the overall market.
The final transition plan will include:
• the expected timeline for phase-out of MCHA,
• the supports that can be provided to MCHA enrollees to ease the transition,
• financial needs of MCHA to support the enrollee transition, and
• communication, outreach plans and strategies to ensure MCHA enrollees are aware of the process and timelines.
Consumers who are interested in providing feedback on the MCHA transition can direct comments to MCHA.Comments@state.mn.us.
The Minnesota Insurance Marketplace Act, signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton on March 20, 2013, directs, “the commissioner of commerce in consultation with the board of directors of the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, has the authority to determine the need for and to implement the eventual appropriate termination of coverage provided by the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 62E. The phase-out of coverage shall begin no sooner than January 1, 2014.”
As authorized by the Minnesota Insurance Marketplace Act, the Commerce Department, in consultation with MCHA, has begun the process to determine the need for and to implement the eventual appropriate termination of coverage provided by MCHA. The transition of coverage (including phase-out) from MCHA to the health insurance markets shall not begin sooner than January 1, 2014. The transition process will include an opportunity for public notice and comment on a draft transition plan.
The initial goal of a transition plan, as required under the Minnesota Insurance Marketplace Act, will be to determine the need for and to implement the eventual appropriate termination of coverage provided by MCHA, with any phase-out of coverage not to begin sooner than January 1, 2014. The Commerce Department goals in developing a transition plan will include the following:
The Commerce Department will continue to consult with MCHA and will provide opportunities for the public to receive notice of, and comment on, a draft transition plan.
MCHA has approximately 26,000 members, many of whom have serious ongoing health conditions.
The Department, in consultation with MCHA, is working with stakeholders to determine the most effective and responsible manner to transition members from MCHA to the private markets while they are in the midst of a course of treatment without causing hardship, including developing education and outreach efforts to inform consumers of upcoming changes.
With the advent of the ACA’s requirements of guaranteed issue in the entire market, which means that insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, the reason for MCHA's existence as the insurer of “last resort” to provide coverage for individuals who cannot purchase products in the private market is going away. Additionally, a significant portion of MCHA enrollees who do not have large ongoing claims may look to leave MCHA as new opportunities and subsidies are available in the new insurance market beginning in 2014.
In accordance with the Minnesota Insurance Marketplace Act, the Commerce Department has begun a process to develop a plan to transition and phase-out MCHA. Initially, Commerce has consulted with MCHA to gather important financial, operational, and other data. The Department then will publicly announce a timeline for the process to develop a transition plan, which will include opportunities for public notice and comment in its development.