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Franken: Insurance Rebates To Help 123K In Minn.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Sen. Al Franken says more than 123,000 Minnesotans are benefiting from insurance rebates under a provision he sponsored in the federal health law, even though some won't get checks in the mail.

Franken held a Capitol news conference in St. Paul Monday to praise the provision based on a Minnesota law. It requires insurers that don't spend at least 80 percent of premiums on direct health care costs to rebate the difference.

This is one of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Nationwide, insurance companies will pay out $1 billion to consumers in the next few weeks, including $9 million right here in Minnesota.

Many of the rebates due Aug. 1 went to employers that purchase health insurance for employees.

Five insurance companies in Minnesota will return $8.9 million to businesses and individuals. And most of that amount is coming from Bloomington-based HealthPartners.

Health Partners is sending out $6.8 million in rebates to 221 companies covering 121,000 people. But your employers won't necessarily pass that money to you.

Instead of a check, it could lower your premium for next year. Or, create a "wellness" program, like a "quit smoking" campaign.

Either way the Minnesota Commerce Commissioner said Minnesota policy holders will benefit.

"The ACA and all of Minnesota's benefits are making sure that a majority of the benefits are going to health care and individuals and consumers," said Mike Rothman, MN Commerce Commissioner.

Franken says in Conneticut, Aetna Insurance lowered its premiums by 10 percent as a result of this rule and predicted others might follow suit.

Minnesota insurance rebates are much lower than in the rest of the country -- a sign that insurance companies here are in fact using a higher percentage of premiums for health care.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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