BYRON, MN—On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Commerce released final rates for the 2019 individual insurance market. For the second consecutive year, Republican-led reforms have proven to help 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 lowering premiums for 2019, with average rates dropping between 7.4 percent and 27.7 percent. For example, a family of four from Grand Rapids could save $6,348 and a 61-year-old from the Twin Cities could save $4,296 next year as a result of Republican reforms compared to two years ago. The individual market serves Minnesotans who buy health insurance on their own, not through an employer or the government.
“The news today shows the reforms we enacted over the previous two years are working,” said Rep. Duane Quam, R-Byron. “The Republican-led reforms not only stopped the double-digit rate increases we had seen under DFL-control but also preserved access to coverage in Greater Minnesota. While there is more work to do, our ideas are working and I will continue to work toward making health care more affordable for Minnesotans.”
From 2014-2017, average rates increased by double digits every year, including up to 67 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 and this year that without Republican reforms, rates would have risen by 20 percent or more.
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.