The week started with some good news. We learned health insurance reforms we enacted earlier this year could end the four-year long trend of double-digit insurance premium increases since the implementation of Obamacare and MNsure in Minnesota.
That Minnesota Department of Commerce information can be found at this link. If approved by the federal government, Minnesota’s Premium Security Plan will result in significant premium decreases for tens of thousands of Minnesotans. This is in contrast to recent history where average rates increased by double digits every year since 2014, including nearly a 60 percent jump for 2017. According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, rates could have risen by 25 percent or more without these important reforms.
We are beginning to see the results from legislative action we took back in January of this year. A reinsurance program is something we can do here in Minnesota to regain control of the overwhelming increases in health insurance costs since the advent of Obamacare and MNSure. Now, we need the federal government to get off the dime and approve our plan.
As a result of Minnesota’s reinsurance program, all current insurers intend to continue serving Minnesota’s individual market next year. Final rates for the 2018 individual market are expected to be released in October 2017. While there remains a logjam on action in DC on health care insurance reform, we are doing what we can here in Minnesota to resolve this issue.
Today a number of new policy-related laws take effect in Minnesota. Complete details from nonpartisan House Public Information Services regarding these new laws can be found by clicking here.
Last night I attended the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee meeting. The advisory committee met with Dr. Chris Vandergoot of the U.S. Geological Survey. Vandergoot will lead a small group of biologists that will review current walleye management practices on Mille Lacs.
Vandergoot is on loan from the USGS and has extensive experience in managing walleye populations in Lake Erie and other US and Canadian walleye fisheries. During the three-hour discussion the advisory group provided a host of areas that they believe need further examination.
The next step for Dr. Vandergoot and the advisory committee leadership is to boil down the project parameters into a manageable timeline. The intent is complete the analysis by early in 2018.