ST. PAUL, MN -- On Monday the Minnesota Department of Commerce 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. 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.
These reforms were supported by just one Democrat in the Minnesota House: Rep. Gene Pelowski Jr. (DFL-Winona). Governor Dayton refused to sign the measure, opting to let it become law without his signature.
“Unfortunately, over the past few years, Minnesotans who have purchased their health insurance on the individual market have come accustom to experiencing consistent double-digit rate increases. However, starting in 2018, more Minnesotans will begin to see rate reductions,” said Rep. Brian Daniels (R-Faribault). “While there is still a lot of work left to be done, Minnesota is on its way back to being a national leader in health care.”
According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, rates could have risen by 25 percent or more without Republican reforms. On Monday, Speaker Daudt sent 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.