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HF 1729

2nd Engrossment - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to health; modifying health care provisions; changing health plan
premium rate restrictions; establishing the Minnesota Health Insurance
Exchange; requiring certain employers to offer Section 125 Plans; requiring
language interpreter services for certain enrollees; amending Minnesota Statutes
2006, sections 62A.65, subdivision 3; 62E.141; 62L.12, subdivision 2; proposing
coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 62A; 62Q.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

ARTICLE 1

HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE; SECTION 125 PLANS

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 62A.65, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Premium rate restrictions.

No individual health plan may be offered,
sold, issued, or renewed to a Minnesota resident unless the premium rate charged is
determined in accordance with the following requirements:

(a) Premium rates must be no more than 25 percent above and no more than 25
percent below the index rate charged to individuals for the same or similar coverage,
adjusted pro rata for rating periods of less than one year. The premium variations
permitted by this paragraph must be based only upon health status, claims experience,
and occupation. For purposes of this paragraph, health status includes refraining from
tobacco use or other actuarially valid lifestyle factors associated with good health,
provided that the lifestyle factor and its effect upon premium rates have been determined
by the commissioner to be actuarially valid and have been approved by the commissioner.
Variations permitted under this paragraph must not be based upon age or applied
differently at different ages. This paragraph does not prohibit use of a constant percentage
adjustment for factors permitted to be used under this paragraph.

(b) Premium rates may vary based upon the ages of covered persons only as
provided in this paragraph. In addition to the variation permitted under paragraph (a),
each health carrier may use an additional premium variation based upon age new text beginfor adults
aged 19 and above
new text endof up to plus or minus 50 percent of the index rate.new text begin Premium rates for
children under the age of 19 may not vary based on age, regardless of whether the child is
covered as a dependent or as a primary insured.
new text end

(c) A health carrier may request approval by the commissioner to establish separate
geographic regions determined by the health carrier and to establish separate index rates
for each such region. The commissioner shall grant approval if the following conditions
are met:

(1) the geographic regions must be applied uniformly by the health carrier;

(2) each geographic region must be composed of no fewer than seven counties that
create a contiguous region; and

(3) the health carrier provides actuarial justification acceptable to the commissioner
for the proposed geographic variations in index rates, establishing that the variations are
based upon differences in the cost to the health carrier of providing coverage.

(d) Health carriers may use rate cells and must file with the commissioner the rate
cells they use. Rate cells must be based upon the number of adults or children covered
under the policy and may reflect the availability of Medicare coverage. The rates for
different rate cells must not in any way reflect generalized differences in expected costs
between principal insureds and their spouses.

(e) In developing its index rates and premiums for a health plan, a health carrier shall
take into account only the following factors:

(1) actuarially valid differences in rating factors permitted under paragraphs (a)
and (b); and

(2) actuarially valid geographic variations if approved by the commissioner as
provided in paragraph (c).

(f) All premium variations must be justified in initial rate filings and upon request of
the commissioner in rate revision filings. All rate variations are subject to approval by
the commissioner.

(g) The loss ratio must comply with the section 62A.021 requirements for individual
health plans.

(h) The rates must not be approved, unless the commissioner has determined that the
rates are reasonable. In determining reasonableness, the commissioner shall consider the
growth rates applied under section 62J.04, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), to the calendar
year or years that the proposed premium rate would be in effect, actuarially valid changes
in risks associated with the enrollee populations, and actuarially valid changes as a result
of statutory changes in Laws 1992, chapter 549.

(i) An insurer may, as part of a minimum lifetime loss ratio guarantee filing under
section 62A.02, subdivision 3a, include a rating practices guarantee as provided in this
paragraph. The rating practices guarantee must be in writing and must guarantee that
the policy form will be offered, sold, issued, and renewed only with premium rates and
premium rating practices that comply with subdivisions 2, 3, 4, and 5. The rating practices
guarantee must be accompanied by an actuarial memorandum that demonstrates that the
premium rates and premium rating system used in connection with the policy form will
satisfy the guarantee. The guarantee must guarantee refunds of any excess premiums to
policyholders charged premiums that exceed those permitted under subdivision 2, 3, 4,
or 5. An insurer that complies with this paragraph in connection with a policy form is
exempt from the requirement of prior approval by the commissioner under paragraphs
(c), (f), and (h).

Sec. 2.

new text begin [62A.67] MINNESOTA HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Title; citation. new text end

new text begin This section may be cited as the "Minnesota Health
Insurance Exchange."
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Creation; tax exemption. new text end

new text begin The Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange
is created for the limited purpose of providing individuals with greater access, choice,
portability, and affordability of health insurance products. The Minnesota Health
Insurance Exchange is a not-for-profit corporation under chapter 317A and section 501(c)
of the Internal Revenue Code.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin The following terms have the meanings given them unless
otherwise provided in text.
new text end

new text begin (a) "Board" means the board of directors of the Minnesota Health Insurance
Exchange under subdivision 13.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Commissioner" means:
new text end

new text begin (1) the commissioner of commerce for health insurers subject to the jurisdiction
of the Department of Commerce;
new text end

new text begin (2) the commissioner of health for health insurers subject to the jurisdiction of the
Department of Health; or
new text end

new text begin (3) either commissioner's designated representative.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Exchange" means the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange.
new text end

new text begin (d) "HIPAA" means the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Individual market health plans," unless otherwise specified, means individual
market health plans defined in section 62A.011 and MinnesotaCare II products as defined
in chapter 256L.
new text end

new text begin (f) "Section 125 Plan" means a cafeteria or Premium Only Plan under section 125 of
the Internal Revenue Code that allows employees to pay for health insurance premiums
with pretax dollars.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Insurer and health plan participation. new text end

new text begin All health plans as defined
in section 62A.011, subdivision 3, issued or renewed in the individual market shall
participate in the exchange. No health plans in the individual market may be issued
or renewed outside of the exchange. Group health plans as defined in section 62A.10
shall not be offered through the exchange. Health plans offered through the Minnesota
Comprehensive Health Association as defined in section 62E.10 are offered through the
exchange to eligible enrollees as determined by the Minnesota Comprehensive Health
Association. Health plans offered through MinnesotaCare and MinnesotaCare II under
chapter 256L are offered through the exchange to eligible enrollees as determined by the
commissioner of human services.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Approval of health plans. new text end

new text begin No health plan may be offered through the
exchange unless the commissioner has first certified that:
new text end

new text begin (1) the insurer seeking to offer the health plan is licensed to issue health insurance in
the state; and
new text end

new text begin (2) the health plan meets the requirements of this section, and the health plan and the
insurer are in compliance with all other applicable health insurance laws.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Individual market health plans. new text end

new text begin Individual market health plans offered
through the exchange continue to be regulated by the commissioner as specified in
chapters 62A, 62C, 62D, 62E, 62Q, and 72A, and must include the following provisions
that apply to all health plans issued or renewed through the exchange:
new text end

new text begin (1) premiums for children under the age of 19 shall not vary by age in the exchange;
and
new text end

new text begin (2) premiums for children under the age of 19 must be excluded from rating factors
under section 62A.65, subdivision 3, paragraph (b).
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin MinnesotaCare II health plans. new text end

new text begin Health plans approved for MinnesotaCare
II under section 256L.075 shall be offered by participating insurers to exchange
participants not enrolled in MinnesotaCare II.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Individual participation and eligibility. new text end

new text begin Individuals are eligible to
purchase health plans directly through the exchange or through an employer Section
125 Plan under section 62A.68. Nothing in this section requires guaranteed issue of
individual market health plans offered through the exchange. Individuals are eligible to
purchase individual market health plans through the exchange by meeting one or more
of the following qualifications:
new text end

new text begin (1) the individual is a Minnesota resident, meaning the individual is physically
residing on a permanent basis in a place that is the person's principal residence and from
which the person is absent only for temporary purposes;
new text end

new text begin (2) the individual is a student attending an institution outside of Minnesota and
maintains Minnesota residency;
new text end

new text begin (3) the individual is not a Minnesota resident but is employed by an employer
physically located within the state and the individual's employer is required to offer a
Section 125 Plan under section 62A.68;
new text end

new text begin (4) the individual is not a Minnesota resident but is self-employed and the
individual's principal place of business is in the state; or
new text end

new text begin (5) the individual is a dependent as defined in section 62L.02, of another individual
who is eligible to participate in the exchange.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Continuation of coverage. new text end

new text begin Enrollment in a health plan may be canceled
for nonpayment of premiums, fraud, or changes in eligibility for MinnesotaCare under
chapter 256L. Enrollment in an individual market health plan may not be canceled or
nonrenewed because of any change in employer or employment status, marital status,
health status, age, residence, or any other change that does not affect eligibility as defined
in this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 10. new text end

new text begin Responsibilities of the exchange. new text end

new text begin The exchange shall serve as the
sole entity for enrollment and collection and transfer of premium payments for health
plans sold to individuals through the exchange. The exchange shall be responsible for
the following functions:
new text end

new text begin (1) publicize the exchange, including but not limited to its functions, eligibility
rules, and enrollment procedures;
new text end

new text begin (2) provide assistance to employers to establish Section 125 Plans under section
62A.68;
new text end

new text begin (3) provide education and assistance to employers to help them understand the
requirements of Section 125 Plans and compliance with applicable regulations;
new text end

new text begin (4) create a system to allow individuals to compare and enroll in health plans offered
through the exchange;
new text end

new text begin (5) create a system to collect and transmit to the applicable plans all premium
payments made by individuals, including developing mechanisms to receive and process
automatic payroll deductions for individuals who purchase coverage through employer
Section 125 Plans;
new text end

new text begin (6) refer individuals interested in MinnesotaCare or MinnesotaCare II under chapter
256L to the Department of Human Services to determine eligibility;
new text end

new text begin (7) establish a mechanism with the Department of Human Services to transfer
premiums and subsidies for MinnesotaCare and MinnesotaCare II to qualify for federal
matching payments;
new text end

new text begin (8) administer bonus accounts as defined in chapter 256L to reimburse
MinnesotaCare II enrollees for qualified medical expenses under section 213(d) of the
Internal Revenue Code;
new text end

new text begin (9) collect and assess information for eligibility for bonus accounts and premium
incentives under chapter 256L;
new text end

new text begin (10) upon request, issue certificates of previous coverage according to the provisions
of HIPAA and as referenced in section 62Q.181 to all such individuals who cease to be
covered by a participating health plan through the exchange;
new text end

new text begin (11) establish procedures to account for all funds received and disbursed by the
exchange for individual participants of the exchange; and
new text end

new text begin (12) make available to the public, at the end of each calendar year, a report of an
independent audit of the exchange's accounts. The exchange shall not accept premium
payments for individual market health plans from an employer Section 125 Plan if the
employer offers a group health plan as defined in section 62A.10 or if the employer is a
self-insurer as defined in section 62E.02.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 11. new text end

new text begin Powers of the exchange. new text end

new text begin The exchange shall have the power to:
new text end

new text begin (1) contract with insurance producers licensed in accident and health insurance
under chapter 60K and vendors to perform one or more of the functions specified in
subdivision 10;
new text end

new text begin (2) contract with employers to collect premiums through a Section 125 Plan for
eligible individuals who purchase an individual market health plan through the exchange;
new text end

new text begin (3) establish and assess fees on health plan premiums of health plans purchased
through the exchange to fund the cost of administering the exchange;
new text end

new text begin (4) seek and directly receive grant funding from government agencies or private
philanthropic organizations to defray the costs of operating the exchange;
new text end

new text begin (5) establish and administer rules and procedures governing the operations of the
exchange;
new text end

new text begin (6) establish one or more service centers within Minnesota;
new text end

new text begin (7) sue or be sued or otherwise take any necessary or proper legal action;
new text end

new text begin (8) establish bank accounts and borrow money; and
new text end

new text begin (9) enter into agreements with the commissioners of commerce, health, human
services, revenue, employment and economic development, and other state agencies as
necessary for the exchange to implement the provisions of this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 12. new text end

new text begin Dispute resolution. new text end

new text begin The exchange shall establish procedures for
resolving disputes with respect to the eligibility of an individual to participate in the
exchange. The exchange does not have the authority or responsibility to intervene in or
resolve disputes between an individual and a health plan or health insurer. The exchange
shall refer complaints from individuals participating in the exchange to the commissioner
to be resolved according to sections 62Q.68 to 62Q.73.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 13. new text end

new text begin Governance. new text end

new text begin The exchange shall be governed by a board of directors
with 11 members. The board shall convene on or before July 1, 2007, after the initial board
members have been selected. The initial board membership consists of the following:
new text end

new text begin (1) the commissioner of commerce;
new text end

new text begin (2) the commissioner of human services;
new text end

new text begin (3) the commissioner of health;
new text end

new text begin (4) four members appointed by a joint committee of the Minnesota senate and the
Minnesota house of representatives to serve three-year terms; and
new text end

new text begin (5) four members appointed by the governor to serve three-year terms.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 14. new text end

new text begin Subsequent board membership. new text end

new text begin Ongoing membership of the exchange
consists of the following effective July 1, 2010:
new text end

new text begin (1) the commissioner of commerce;
new text end

new text begin (2) the commissioner of human services;
new text end

new text begin (3) the commissioner of health;
new text end

new text begin (4) four members appointed by the governor with the approval of a joint committee
of the senate and house of representatives to serve two- or three-year terms. Appointed
members may serve more than one term; and
new text end

new text begin (5) four members elected by the membership of the exchange of which two are
elected to serve a two-year term and two are elected to serve a three-year term. Elected
members may serve more than one term.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 15. new text end

new text begin Operations of the board. new text end

new text begin Officers of the board of directors are elected by
members of the board and serve one-year terms. Six members of the board constitutes a
quorum, and the affirmative vote of six members of the board is necessary and sufficient
for any action taken by the board. Board members serve without pay, but are reimbursed
for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 16. new text end

new text begin Operations of the exchange. new text end

new text begin The board of directors shall appoint an
exchange director who shall:
new text end

new text begin (1) be a full-time employee of the exchange;
new text end

new text begin (2) administer all of the activities and contracts of the exchange; and
new text end

new text begin (3) hire and supervise the staff of the exchange.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 17. new text end

new text begin Insurance producers. new text end

new text begin When a producer licensed in accident and health
insurance under chapter 60K enrolls an eligible individual in the exchange, the health plan
chosen by an individual may pay the producer a commission.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 18. new text end

new text begin Implementation. new text end

new text begin Health plan coverage through the exchange begins on
January 1, 2009. The exchange must be operational to assist employers and individuals
by September 1, 2008, and be prepared for enrollment by December 1, 2008. Enrollees
of individual market health plans, MinnesotaCare, and the Minnesota Comprehensive
Health Association as of December 2, 2008, are automatically enrolled in the exchange
on January 1, 2009, in the same health plan and at the same premium that they were
enrolled as of December 2, 2008, subject to the provisions of this section. As of January 1,
2009, all enrollees of individual market health plans, MinnesotaCare, and the Minnesota
Comprehensive Health Association shall make premium payments to the exchange.
new text end

Sec. 3.

new text begin [62A.68] SECTION 125 PLANS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin The following terms have the meanings given unless
otherwise provided in text:
new text end

new text begin (a) "Current employee" means an employee currently on an employer's payroll other
than a retiree or disabled former employee.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Employer" means a person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, business
trust, or other entity employing one or more persons, including a political subdivision of
the state, filing payroll tax information on such employed person or persons.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Section 125 Plan" means a cafeteria or Premium Only Plan under section 125
of the Internal Revenue Code that allows employees to purchase health insurance with
pretax dollars.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Exchange" means the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange under section
62A.67.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Exchange director" means the appointed director under section 62A.67,
subdivision 16.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Section 125 Plan requirement. new text end

new text begin (a) Effective January 1, 2009, all
employers with 11 or more current employees shall establish a Section 125 Plan to allow
their employees to purchase individual market health plan coverage with pretax dollars.
The following employers are exempt from the Section 125 Plan requirement:
new text end

new text begin (1) employers that offer a group health insurance plan as defined in 62A.10;
new text end

new text begin (2) employers that are self-insurers as defined in section 62E.02; and
new text end

new text begin (3) employers with fewer than 11 current employees, except that employers under
this clause may voluntarily offer a Section 125 Plan.
new text end

new text begin (b) Employers that offer a Section 125 Plan may enter into an agreement with the
exchange to administer the employer's Section 125 Plan.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Tracking compliance. new text end

new text begin By July 1, 2008, the exchange, in consultation with
the commissioners of commerce, health, employment and economic development, and
revenue shall establish a method for tracking employer compliance with the Section 125
Plan requirement.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Employer requirements. new text end

new text begin Employers that are required to offer or choose
to offer a Section 125 Plan shall:
new text end

new text begin (1) allow employees to purchase an individual market health plan for themselves
and their dependents through the exchange;
new text end

new text begin (2) upon an employee's request, deduct premium amounts on a pretax basis in an
amount not to exceed an employee's wages, and remit these employee payments to the
exchange; and
new text end

new text begin (3) provide notice to employees that individual market health plans purchased
through the exchange are not employer-sponsored.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Section 125 eligible health plans. new text end

new text begin Individuals who are eligible to use
an employer Section 125 Plan to pay for health insurance coverage purchased through
the exchange may enroll in any health plan offered through the exchange for which
the individual is eligible including individual market health plans, MinnesotaCare and
MinnesotaCare II, and the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 62E.141, is amended to read:


62E.141 INCLUSION IN EMPLOYER-SPONSORED PLAN.

No employee of an employer that offers a new text begingroup new text endhealth plan, under which the
employee is eligible for coverage, is eligible to enroll, or continue to be enrolled, in
the comprehensive health association, except for enrollment or continued enrollment
necessary to cover conditions that are subject to an unexpired preexisting condition
limitation, preexisting condition exclusion, or exclusionary rider under the employer's
health plan. This section does not apply to persons enrolled in the Comprehensive Health
Association as of June 30, 1993. With respect to persons eligible to enroll in the health
plan of an employer that has more than 29 current employees, as defined in section
62L.02, this section does not apply to persons enrolled in the Comprehensive Health
Association as of December 31, 1994.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 62L.12, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Exceptions.

(a) A health carrier may sell, issue, or renew individual
conversion policies to eligible employees otherwise eligible for conversion coverage under
section 62D.104 as a result of leaving a health maintenance organization's service area.

(b) A health carrier may sell, issue, or renew individual conversion policies to
eligible employees otherwise eligible for conversion coverage as a result of the expiration
of any continuation of group coverage required under sections 62A.146, 62A.17, 62A.21,
62C.142, 62D.101, and 62D.105.

(c) A health carrier may sell, issue, or renew conversion policies under section
62E.16 to eligible employees.

(d) A health carrier may sell, issue, or renew individual continuation policies to
eligible employees as required.

(e) A health carrier may sell, issue, or renew individual health plans if the coverage
is appropriate due to an unexpired preexisting condition limitation or exclusion applicable
to the person under the employer's group health plan or due to the person's need for health
care services not covered under the employer's group health plan.

(f) A health carrier may sell, issue, or renew an individual health plan, if the
individual has elected to buy the individual health plan not as part of a general plan to
substitute individual health plans for a group health plan nor as a result of any violation of
subdivision 3 or 4.

(g) Nothing in this subdivision relieves a health carrier of any obligation to provide
continuation or conversion coverage otherwise required under federal or state law.

(h) Nothing in this chapter restricts the offer, sale, issuance, or renewal of coverage
issued as a supplement to Medicare under sections 62A.3099 to 62A.44, or policies or
contracts that supplement Medicare issued by health maintenance organizations, or those
contracts governed by sections 1833, 1851 to 1859, 1860D, or 1876 of the federal Social
Security Act, United States Code, title 42, section 1395 et seq., as amended.

(i) Nothing in this chapter restricts the offer, sale, issuance, or renewal of individual
health plans necessary to comply with a court order.

(j) A health carrier may offer, issue, sell, or renew an individual health plan to
persons eligible for an employer group health plan, if the individual health plan is a high
deductible health plan for use in connection with an existing health savings account, in
compliance with the Internal Revenue Code, section 223. In that situation, the same or
a different health carrier may offer, issue, sell, or renew a group health plan to cover
the other eligible employees in the group.

(k) A health carrier may offer, sell, issue, or renew an individual health plan to one
or more employees of a small employer if the individual health plan is marketed directly to
all employees of the small employer and the small employer does not contribute directly
or indirectly to the premiums or facilitate the administration of the individual health plan.
The requirement to market an individual health plan to all employees does not require the
health carrier to offer or issue an individual health plan to any employee. For purposes
of this paragraph, an employer is not contributing to the premiums or facilitating the
administration of the individual health plan if the employer does not contribute to the
premium and merely collects the premiums from an employee's wages or salary through
payroll deductions and submits payment for the premiums of one or more employees in a
lump sum to the health carrier. Except for coverage under section 62A.65, subdivision 5,
paragraph (b), or 62E.16, at the request of an employee, the health carrier may bill the
employer for the premiums payable by the employee, provided that the employer is not
liable for payment except from payroll deductions for that purpose. If an employer is
submitting payments under this paragraph, the health carrier shall provide a cancellation
notice directly to the primary insured at least ten days prior to termination of coverage for
nonpayment of premium. Individual coverage under this paragraph may be offered only
if the small employer has not provided coverage under section 62L.03 to the employees
within the past 12 months.

The employer must provide a written and signed statement to the health carrier that
the employer is not contributing directly or indirectly to the employee's premiums. The
health carrier may rely on the employer's statement and is not required to guarantee-issue
individual health plans to the employer's other current or future employees.

new text begin (l) Nothing in this chapter restricts the offer, sale, issuance, or renewal of individual
health plans through the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange under section 62A.67
or 62A.68.
new text end

ARTICLE 2

INTERPRETER SERVICE

Section 1.

new text begin [62Q.40] LANGUAGE INTERPRETER SERVICES.
new text end

new text begin A health plan must cover sign language interpreter services provided to deaf and
hard-of-hearing enrollees and language interpreter services provided to enrollees with
limited English proficiency in order to facilitate the provision of health care services
by a provider or health care facility. For purposes of this section, "provider" has the
meaning given in section 62J.03, subdivision 8; and "health plan" includes coverage
excluded under section 62A.011, subdivision 3, clauses (6), (7), (9), and (10). Interpreter
services may be provided in person, by telephone, or by video conference. The health
plan shall reimburse either the party providing interpreter services directly for the costs of
language interpreter services provided to the enrollee or the provider or health care facility
arranging for the provision of interpreter services. Providers and health care facilities
that employ or contract with interpreters may bill and shall be reimbursed directly by
health plan companies for such services. Except where health plan companies are already
reimbursing a party providing or a provider or health care facility arranging for interpreter
services, required reimbursement by health plan companies for interpreter services shall
be phased in over a three-year period beginning July 1, 2008, with one-third of the cost
reimbursed the first year, two-thirds of the cost reimbursed the second year, and full
reimbursement the third year. A health plan company shall provide to enrollees, upon
request, the policies and procedures for addressing the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing
enrollees and enrollees with limited English proficiency. All entities providing interpreter
services must disclose their methods for ensuring competency upon request of any health
plan company, provider, or consumer.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginINTERPRETER SERVICES WORK GROUP.
new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner of health shall, in consultation with the commissioners of
commerce, human services, and employee relations, convene a work group to study the
provision of interpreter services to patients in medical and dental care settings. The work
group shall include one representative from each of the following groups:
new text end

new text begin (1) consumers;
new text end

new text begin (2) interpreters;
new text end

new text begin (3) interpreter service providers or agencies;
new text end

new text begin (4) health plan companies;
new text end

new text begin (5) self-insured purchasers;
new text end

new text begin (6) hospitals;
new text end

new text begin (7) health care providers;
new text end

new text begin (8) dental providers;
new text end

new text begin (9) clinic administrators;
new text end

new text begin (10) state agency staff from the Departments of Health, Human Services, and
Employee Relations;
new text end

new text begin (11) local county social services agencies;
new text end

new text begin (12) local public health agencies; and
new text end

new text begin (13) the interpreting stakeholders group.
new text end

new text begin (b) The work group shall develop findings and recommendations on the following:
new text end

new text begin (1) assuring access to interpreter services;
new text end

new text begin (2) compliance with requirements of federal law and guidance;
new text end

new text begin (3) developing a quality assurance program to ensure the quality of health care
interpreting services, including requirements for training and establishing a certification
process; and
new text end

new text begin (4) identifying broad-based funding mechanisms for interpreter services.
new text end

new text begin (c) Based on the discussions of the work group, the commissioner shall submit
the findings and the recommendations to the chairs of the health policy and finance
committees in the house and senate by January 15, 2008.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin Section 1 is effective July 1, 2008, and applies to plans issued or renewed to
provide coverage to Minnesota residents on or after that date unless the legislature enacts
alternative funding sources based on the recommendations of the commissioner. Section 2
is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end