U.S. health officials approve Montana reinsurance pool

HELENA, MONT. (AP) — Montana officials say U.S. health officials have approved the state’s plan to create a reinsurance pool that aims to lower individual health insurance premium costs.

Gov. Steve Bullock and State Auditor Matt Rosendale said Friday the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved a waiver that authorizes the reinsurance program.

A bill passed by state lawmakers this year creates a pool to help reimburse insurers for high-cost claims from $40,000 to $1 million.

It will be funded with money that otherwise would have been used as premium tax credits and through a premium tax on all major medical plans sold in the state.

The three Montana companies that offer health insurance policies on the individual marketplace are proposing reduced rates in 2020, in part because of the reinsurance program.