MNsure sees record enrollment, problems linger for individual market

As Congress debates scrapping the Affordable Care Act, MNsure announced record breaking enrollments on Thursday.

More people than ever took advantage of federal tax credits on the exchange and thousands took advantage of the new state rebate plan. But officials still admit there's work to do.

"Under very chaotic circumstances, Minnesota set new enrollment records," said Allison O'Toole, MNsure CEO.

Enrollments in private plans, medical assistance, and Minnesota care totaled more $265,000.

Sixty-four percent of people who enrolled in private plans qualified for tax credits, averaging $621 a month.

"And we had 117,000 people gain coverage,” said O’Toole. “It's a 40 percent growth rate over last year and that's just fantastic news for Minnesotans." 

Ken Anderson bought his policy through MNsure. As a new business owner opening two surge cycling fitness centers, he needed affordable coverage for his family.

"I pay $291 a month,” said Anderson. “I'm getting like an $800 tax credit, so I can't be any more happy with that." 

But there's still an affordability crisis on the individual market.

The state legislature just passed a law opening up the market to for-profit insurers in 2018. Even Governor Dayton admitted it is still not affordable for too many people.

"The individual market even with the 25 percent reduction is priced out of the range of many, many Minnesotans,” said Dayton. 

41,000 enrollees qualified for that discount passed by the legislature. That's about 36 percent of the people who signed up for policies.

It's temporary help for just this year, which is why there is going to be so much focus here in the coming months on opening up the market and bringing premiums down for 2018.