ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Preliminary rates for 2017 health insurance plans offered on the MNsure marketplace have been released, and both Republicans and Democrats are outraged by cost increases that range from 36 percent to 67 percent.
The preliminary rate increases require approval from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. That decision is expected by the end of the month.
“Minnesota is not unique, as large insurers have announced they are leaving these markets across the country and many that are staying for 2017 are proposing significant rate increases,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “The underlying conditions causing these issues are posing challenges across the country.”
Only about 5 percent of Minnesotans purchase health insurance through MNsure. Most Minnesotans get employer-sponsored coverage or coverage through public programs like Medicare, Medicaid and MinnesotaCare.
MNsure says that when health insurance rates go up, so do the tax credits that are available.
Have your say
As part of the rate review process, the Commerce Department is accepting public comments on the insurers’ 2017 rate proposals. Minnesotans can submit comments firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a question or concern about your insurance, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at email@example.com by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).
Statement from Gov. Mark Dayton
“I am alarmed by the drastic increases in health insurance rates for Minnesotans in the individual market, which are also occurring in many other states under the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, many individuals, who purchase their insurance through MNsure and qualify for the federal tax credits, can offset most of the listed rate increases. Also, these increases do not impact the 95 percent of Minnesotans who receive insurance through their employer or state programs.
“Nevertheless, these increases are reason for very serious concerns and for improvements to the Affordable Care Act by both Congress and the Minnesota Legislature. I will reconvene my Task Force on Health Care Financing, which previously reviewed our state program, and ask its members to look at the individual market, in light of these developments.
“I am most appreciative of the insurance providers, who, with one exception, have remained in our state’s individual health insurance market to offer Minnesotans their choices of health insurance throughout our state. I am extremely disappointed that one carrier, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, has withdrawn from the individual market, as they reportedly have done in other parts of the country. The continued participation of private insurers in the Affordable Care Act is essential to its survival.
Overall, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, we have the lowest rate of uninsurance in our state’s history. And anyone, who believes this country would be better off after a collapse of the Affordable Care Act, is seriously mistaken.”