Updated: 07/23/2014 7:30 AM
Created: 07/22/2014 6:50 PM KSTP.com
By: Jay Kolls
Gov. Mark Dayton wants the price Minnesotans will pay for health insurance coverage through MNsure released publicly by Oct. 1, before the November elections.
Dayton sent a letter to key lawmakers expressing his desire to have the MNsure rates open to the public by the October deadline, 45 days before the next MNsure enrollment date. The governor wants individuals and small business owners to have more time to research the rates and the plans offered by the health maintenance organizations (HMOs), which operate through MNsure.
The head of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, which represents the HMOs, told a University of Minnesota forum recently that rates could jump as high as 13 percent for 2015.
Alycia Riedl, an officer with the Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS "many small businesses with less than 50 employees are seeing rate increases averaging 30 to 40 percent, and many are contemplating whether they will even offer health coverage if the rates are too high."
Riedl says releasing the rates as early as possible gives individuals and employers a better chance to figure out how they can afford health care coverage.
The HMOs and the commerce department have agreed to the Oct. 1 deadline to release the rates publicly, which means there would be no required action by state lawmakers.