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State Representative Paul Thissen

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100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
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For more information contact: Michael Howard 651-296-4169

Posted: 2016-09-30
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Press Release

House DFL Leader Paul Thissen Responds to Private Insurers' Rate Increases


SAINT PAUL, MINN. – This morning, Minnesota health insurers released the final 2017 rates for Minnesotans on the individual market that show significant premium increases. House DFL Leader Paul Thissen said it’s time for Republicans to stop playing the blame game and start focusing on solutions that side with consumers – not big drug and insurance companies.

“Minnesotans deserve quality health care at an affordable price. These rate increases for Minnesotans buying coverage in the individual market are too high. It's not fair to families,” said Thissen. "Republicans will inevitably point fingers and blame MnSure. But that won't solve the problem. Indeed, many people buying through MNSure will see much lower, if any, premium increases because they will be able to receive tax credits.”

"After running on rising health care costs two years ago and promising to do something to fix the problem, the House Republicans' only answer to these escalating premiums was to throw 100,000 working Minnesotans off of their health care and give a tax cut to big insurance companies,” said Thissen. “Given that those tax cuts amount to about 1% of the total proposed premium increases, it's clear that the Republican giveaways to big corporations won't help consumers facing 50% increases. What we need are real solutions that side with consumers – not big drug and insurance companies. What we don't need are more empty promises from Republicans during campaign season."

Today, MNsure released several examples detailing how Minnesotans can greatly reduce their premiums by accessing tax credits that are only available through MNsure. About half of the 5% of Minnesotans purchasing health insurance on the individual market are eligible for tax credits that can only be received through MNsure. Many Minnesotans would see a net premium decrease or a marginal increase. Examples include:

  • 40-year-old from Albert Lea with $42,000 on Silver Plan would see 2017 premiums decrease from $366 to $352 once federal tax credits are accessed.

  • Family of four from Moorhead with $65,000 income on Silver Plan would see 2017 premiums decrease from $505 to $472 once federal tax credits are accessed.

  • 25-year-old from Brainerd with $25,000 income on Bronze Plan would see 2017 premiums decrease from $123 to $107 once federal tax credits are accessed.

  • Family of four from Minneapolis with $68,000 income on Silver Plan would see 2017 premiums increase from $622 to $680 once federal tax credits are accessed.

While many Minnesotans will be able to keep premiums in check, Rep. Thissen said more needs to be done to make health care affordable for all Minnesotans.

“The problem is that health care costs are simply too high. That is why House Democrats introduced several detailed proposals before the last session to take on the big drug companies that are increasing their profits at the expense of patient pocketbooks,” said Thissen. “That's why we're telling big insurers they can't take our premiums and then refuse to pay for needed health care. Unfortunately, the House Republicans refused to move forward on any of these ideas.”

You can view the House DFL Health Care Plan here. Meanwhile, House Republicans have done nothing over the past two years to reduce the health care costs for Minnesotans.

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