ST. PAUL – House Republicans are sounding the alarm over a looming health insurance crisis following Friday’s news that final MNsure rates will rise 50 percent or more for 2017.
The latest rate increases are on top of hikes of up to 17 percent and 49 percent in the first two years of MNsure premium pricing adjustments. More than 75 percent of people who buy health insurance on their own do not receive any financial assistance from MNsure, undermining MNsure’s claims that tax credits will offset massive rate increases.
“It’s time for MNsure advocates to get a grip on reality and face the fact they can’t just keep spending more taxpayer dollars on a system that has been an utter flop,” said Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston. “This program has been an albatross around the state’s neck since the day of its failed launch a few years ago. MNsure has caused nothing but heartaches and headaches for many Minnesotans who can’t afford to suffer any longer from Democrats’ broken promises. The sooner we can stop funding MNsure and move to something that would actually deliver results, the better.”
It also was announced Friday that the Minnesota Department of Commerce has approved enrollment caps that will limit Minnesotans’ access to federal financial assistance and ability to find health care coverage.
Enrollment caps limit the number of new enrollees for certain insurers who sell insurance on the individual market. Due to MNsure’s inability to accurately process applications in a timely manner, Minnesotans who attempt to enroll through MNsure could be left without coverage through no fault of their own. Those who enroll directly with an insurer typically receive confirmation of coverage immediately.
Earlier this year, Democrats proposed hiking the MNsure Tax by $40 million and raising health care costs by $1 billion through permanently restoring the sick tax. Meantime, House Republicans proposed legislation to reduce the MNsure Tax which would have saved families at least $22 million over the next three years. The measure passed the House during the 2016 session, but was vocally opposed by DFL legislators.