Proposed Minnesota Health Insurance Rates for 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota residents who purchase their own individual health plans, including those offered through MNsure, are getting a peek at their rates for 2018.

The proposed rates are good news for those shopping on the individual markets, as preliminary rates for next year range from an 11-percent increase to a 15-percent decrease compared to this year.

As of April this year, around 166,000 Minnesotans have coverage through the individual market, according to the Minnesota Commerce Department. Most Minnesotans continue to receive coverage from employer-based insurance or public programs such as Medicare, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), and MinnesotaCare.

Earlier this year, the state Legislature enacted a law to create the Minnesota Premium Security Plan, which is designed to help stabilize premiums in the state’s individual market, providing a financial backstop against especially high-cost claims. So for the first time this year, insurers were required to submit two sets of proposed rates: one set with a new state reinsurance program and one set without.

The implementation of Minnesota’s reinsurance program is still contingent on federal approval, which is currently pending. The state’s application for what is known as a 1332 waiver application was submitted by the Commerce Department to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman states that the state is expecting to hear a decision by the end of August.

Final rates for 2018 will be announced October 2. Open enrollment to buy health insurance begins on November 1 and is scheduled to continue through December 15.

The insurers’ rate proposals, are preliminary and must be reviewed by the Commerce Department. The Commerce Dept. is accepting public comments on the proposals, which can be viewed at mn.gov/commerce through Aug. 31. Comments can be submitted to healthinsurance.ratecomments@state.mn.us.

Statement from Gov. Mark Dayton:

“Minnesotans, who buy their health insurance on the Individual Market, are receiving the tremendous news that proposed insurance rates will remain essentially unchanged next year. That assumes the federal government will approve our state’s new Reinsurance Law, as we have requested. I applaud the Minnesota legislators, who worked together to pass this pioneering legislation, which is being shown to cause major reductions in the costs of health insurance next year for many thousands of Minnesotans. 

“However, those reductions come at a very high cost to our state’s treasury, totaling $543 million over the next two years. We will be hard-pressed to continue to provide those subsidies alone. It is essential that the President and the U.S. Congress act now to share this responsibility in the years ahead.” 

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