State working to reduce insurance rates
The Minnesota Department of Commerce on Monday released preliminary rates for the 2018 individual insurance market, revealing that Republican-led reforms could end the four-year trend of double-digit premium increases since the implementation of Obamacare and MNsure in Minnesota.
The individual market serves Minnesotans who do not receive health insurance through their employer or the government. If approved by the federal government, the Minnesota Premium Security Plan will result in premium decreases for tens of thousands of Minnesotans.
In contrast, average rates increased by double digits every year since 2014, including nearly 60 percent for 2017.
“It is nice to finally have some good news on the subject of health insurance,” said Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent.
“MNsure has been flawed since its inception, including soaring premiums that have been causing financial hardships for many families. The accomplishments we achieved this year are providing relief to MNsure enrollees. We still have more work to do and the goal is to drive down rates further and improve access to local hospitals.”
As a result of the reinsurance program, all current insurers will continue serving the individual market next year. In addition to the reinsurance program, Republicans successfully pushed for consumer protections that will provide access to better networks of hospitals and doctors. According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, rates would have risen by 25 percent or more without Republican reforms.
House Speaker Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, is sending a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price urging approval of the required waiver from the federal government needed to allow the reinsurance program to proceed.
Final rates for the 2018 individual market are expected to be released in October 2017.