The state of Minnesota is suing British Petroleum for $25 million, alleging the company double dipped when it sought state funds on top of insurance payments to clean up contamination from leaking petroleum storage tanks. The Department of Commerce and Minnesota’s Petrofund Board filed the suit Monday. It alleges that from 1988 to 2012, BP received hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance claims to clean up polluted properties statewide.
Leaders of Minnesota’s health exchange said Thursday that they might need additional funding if insurance premiums stay low, enrollment lags below expectations and continues to tip toward public rather than private insurance programs.
More than 100 former New York City workers – including police officers and firefighters – were charged Tuesday with defrauding the disability system. Some are accused of fishing or doing karate after saying they were too injured or too depressed to work. Prosecutors say the alleged scams cost the federal government about $400 million. Every year, Americans pay $1.1 trillion in private insurance premiums, but a big chunk of that money goes to pay out false insurance claims.
A late scramble to finalize health coverage before the new year crammed the call center Tuesday at Minnesota’s insurance marketplace, which is still working to repair problems with its centerpiece online portal.
MNsure is releasing some tips they hope will help frustrated Minnesotans troubleshoot through its health insurance marketplace website. John Schadl, spokesman for MNsure, says they have gathered several common questions that operators at their call center are asked daily. The original deadline for enrollment was Monday, Dec. 23, but that deadline was extended to Dec. 31 after complaints of ongoing challenges that people faced while trying to enroll under the new federal health care law.
Anticipating heavy traffic on the government’s health care website, the Obama administration effectively extended Monday’s deadline for signing up for insurance by a day, giving people in 36 states more time to select a plan.
Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace is extending by one week its deadline for signing up for coverage that takes effect on the first of the new year. The new interim CEO of MNsure says Friday that a Monday deadline for signing up will be extended to Dec. 31. That means people will be able to enroll right up to the day before the insurance takes effect. In addition, MNsure leader Scott Leitz says people will have until Jan. 10 to pay for their coverage. Leitz says all MNsure enrollees may not have insurance cards by Jan. 1 but that the agency is working on ways they can prove their coverage to doctors and hospitals.
Implementation of the health reform law continues through 2014 with these key dates.
Minnesota businesses will see lower unemployment insurance taxes starting next year. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says Tuesday that the unemployment insurance trust fund’s $1.2 billion reserve at the end of September was enough to trigger a tax cut.
Gov. Mark Dayton says he believes President Barack Obama made the right decision by letting insurance companies continue to offer consumers health plans that were set to be canceled under federal health care changes.
Gov. Mark Dayton says he believes all Americans should be able to keep existing insurance plans under the new federal health care law.
MNsure’s executive director, April Todd-Malmlov, says more than 10,000 Minnesotans have opened accounts in the first 10 days of the exchange’s operation, including about 300 opened by small-business owners.
A few years back, Kathy Lesicka’s Monticello home had hail damage and needed the roof replaced. Two months after the repairs, her homeowners’ premium increased by $200. “That was the first time we ever claimed, and we were like, ‘We’ve been with you for 20 years, are you kidding me?’” she said.
There is only one Elvis, but there are thousands of self-employed Minnesotans like Elvis impersonator Anthony Shore and his wife Trisha. Both are 32 years old and uninsured. “I’m a healthy individual, but you never know what’s going to happen. So yeah, I don’t like it. It makes me feel scared not having insurance,” Trisha said. Starting next week, uninsured and under-insured Minnesotans can buy health care online at MNsure.org. But one of the biggest problems is getting the word out.
Just six days before its launch, the state says all systems are a go for Minnesota’s new health insurance program: MNsure.