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Affordable Care Act News for Minnesota Employers: Minnesota Legislature Creates State Insurance Exchange and DOL Issues Proposed Rule on New Maximum 90-Day Waiting Period for Coverage

March 2013

By: James B. Sherman, Esq. and Phoebe A. Taurick, Esq.

On March 18, 2013, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bill creating a state health insurance exchange pursuant to the federal ACA. This exchange acts as an online marketplace where the public will be able to shop for health insurance beginning in October, 2013. Minnesota is one of approximately 18 states to have endeavored to create such an exchange, which is voluntary under the ACA. Minnesota is now among the first states to actually pass the necessary legislation to create an exchange. Governor Dayton is expected to sign the bill into law later this week.

Also on March 18, the Department of Labor issued proposed regulations to address the 90-day maximum waiting period for group health coverage under the Affordable Care Act ("ACA" and a/k/a "ObamaCare"). The proposed regulations, when finalized, will implement the ACA's provisions that prohibit group health plans and insurers from applying any waiting period longer than 90 days before an individual may be covered under that plan or policy. Under the ACA and the proposed regulations insurance policies and group plan documents (SPDs, etc.) may not require otherwise eligible employees to wait longer than 90 days to enroll for coverage. To see the proposed regulations in their entirety, click here.