On July 31, the Minnesota Department of Commerce released preliminary rates for the 2018 individual insurance market, revealing that legislative-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, the Legislature successfully pushed for consumer protections that will provide access to better networks of hospitals and doctors.
“We are still far away from completely fixing our health insurance system,” said Rep. Randy Jessup (R-Shoreview). “However, Minnesota’s individual health insurance market has begun to make positive strides due to the reforms we enacted during the 2017 Legislative Session. Some Minnesotans who purchase their health insurance off the individual market will begin to see their insurance costs not only flatten out, but actually decrease. This is a stark contrast from what we have seen from the previous years of consistent double-digit cost increases.”
According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, rates could have risen by 25 percent or more without these 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.