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Minnesota considering special session on health insurance problem

ST. PAUL - The governor and legislative leaders failed to agree on calling a special legislative session to spend $1 billion on construction projects and cut taxes, but now some Republican lawmakers say one is needed to fix health insurance in th...

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The Minnesota State Capitol.

ST. PAUL - The governor and legislative leaders failed to agree on calling a special legislative session to spend $1 billion on construction projects and cut taxes, but now some Republican lawmakers say one is needed to fix health insurance in the state.

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, brought up the special session suggestion when discussing problems unveiled last week with keeping individual health insurance policies available.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's Commerce Department leader, Mike Rothman, stopped short of saying a special session is needed, but said: "I think this calls for urgent action."

On Friday, Rothman announced insurers will increase policy costs up to 67 percent higher in 2017. On top of that, all but one insurer will limit how many patients they insure.

The only policy that does not limit new customers is a Blue Cross Blue Shield health maintenance organization that is available statewide.

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Sen. Toney Lourey, D-Kerrick, and Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, said some major medical clinics do not fall under individual plans, so some people will have to change doctors.

About 250,000 Minnesotans buy individual policies, while most in the state have insurance under their employers.

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