ST. PAUL, MN—On Friday the Minnesota Department of Commerce released preliminary rates for the 2019 individual insurance market, revealing that for the second consecutive year, Republican-led reforms have helped reduce or hold flat individual market health insurance rates after years of double-digit increases following the implementation of Obamacare in Minnesota.
All five of the carriers on the individual market are projected to decrease premiums for 2019, with average preliminary rates dropping between 3 percent and 12.4 percent. The individual market serves Minnesotans who buy health insurance on their own, not through an employer or the government.
“Folks in Northwest Minnesota have been hurt by Obamacare with years of skyrocketing premiums and fewer choices on the individual market,” said Rep. Dan Fabian, R-Roseau. “Under the leadership of House Republicans, we’ve implemented commonsense solutions that have helped lower costs and bring more choice to the individual market, protecting Minnesota families, farmers and folks across our state who purchase their own insurance.”
From 2014-2017, average rates increased by double digits every year, including nearly 60 percent for 2017. Thanks to Republican reforms enacted in 2017, individual market rates for 2018 remained flat or were reduced for most Minnesotans on the individual market. The Minnesota Department of Commerce confirmed last year that without Republican reforms, rates would have risen by 20 percent or more.
“Minnesotans have been rightfully frustrated by our state’s MNsure mess with out-of-control premium increases and fewer choices, but now we’re seeing the second year in a row of premiums going down or holding steady thanks to meaningful Republican reforms. That’s great news for folks in every corner of our state,” said Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston. “While there is still more work to do when it comes to mitigating the disastrous effects of Obamacare, House Republicans are committed to championing solutions that work for Minnesota families.”
The nationally recognized, Republican-led reforms were supported by just one Democrat in the Minnesota House. Governor Dayton refused to sign the measure, opting to let it become law without his signature.
Republicans also pushed for and successfully passed other key reforms to increase the number of health care options for Minnesotans by expanding agriculture co-op plans, and allowing more insurers into the market, a move that is already paying dividends for seniors on Medicare and employees. Democrats pushed unsuccessfully during the 2018 session to eliminate these health plan options.
House Republicans also successfully passed a nation-leading reform that ensured Minnesotans would have greater access to more doctors by requiring that plans on the individual market provide in-network access to more than one provider system, reversing the trend towards narrower networks.
Final rates for the 2019 individual market are expected to be released in October 2018.