Federal government OKs Montana reinsurance waiver

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By: Phil Drake

The federal government has approved Montana’s reinsurance waiver, giving the state permission to do what officials said Friday would lower health care premiums, stabilize the market and continue to protect people with preexisting conditions.

The approval of the Montana Reinsurance Program by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced by Gov. Steve Bullock and state Auditor Matt Rosendale, lets the state start a reinsurance pool that will reimburse insurers for high-cost claims from $40,000 to $1 million…

Rosendale, a Republican, in an email, thanked the Trump administration for letting states propose solutions that work best for its residents.

“This is a big step in the right direction for many of the approximately 50,000 Montanans who get their health insurance through the individual market,” he said, noting he has been “fighting” for such a program since he became state auditor.

Rosendale said reinsurance lets insurance mitigate risk and lower prices while continuing to provide insurance to Montanans with preexisting and expensive medical conditions…

Bullock said SB 125 was drafted by a group he established that included his staff, the Montana Department of Administration, the state Auditor, legislators and representatives from insurance companies who sell on the individual marketplace…

Rosendale said he proposed creating a reinsurance program in 2017, but those attempts were vetoed.

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