Many Individual Health Insurance Rates Will Decrease in 2018 After Reinsurance

October 02, 2017 07:32 PM

After huge increases last year, individual health insurance rates on plans purchased through MNsure will range from a 38 percent decrease to a 3 percent increase in 2018.

The rates were announced Monday in advance of the open enrollment period, which begins on Nov. 1.


"After two years of large rate increases in the individual health insurance market the numbers show the state's reinsurance program will help stabilize the 2018 rates," Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said at a news conference at the State Capitol.

The rates are artificially lower this year because they have been subsidized by taxpayers through a "reinsurance" program.

RELATED: Minnesota Health Insurers to Release Final 2018 Rates

The program, enacted into law earlier this year, will use $542 million dollars in state funding to pay insurance companies to keep rates lower. It is designed to keep insurance companies in the market by protecting them from high-cost health insurance claims.

It will prevent increases of up to 67% Minnesota experienced last year which Rothman compared to flashing red lights and sirens warning of a major problem. He says there is still plenty of concern about the future.

"There may be no red lights, no sirens, but you could say there is still a big flashing sign that says caution," Rothman said.

Company                              2018 Capacity Limit

Blue Plus                               50,000  (didn't have a cap in 2017)
Group Health                         70,000 (2017 cap was 72,000)
Medica                                   none (2017 cap was 50,000)
PreferredOne                         3,000 (2017 cap was 1,700)
UCare                                    30,000 (2017 cap was 30,000)

The rates released Monday do not affect Minnesotans covered by employer-based insurance, or programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Minnesota Care.

RELATED: With 'Reinsurance,' Minnesotans Who Buy Own Health Coverage Could See Rate Decreases

Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said Monday that Minnesota is the second state to get approval for a reinsurance program. And he said rates are 20 percent lower than they would be without reinsurance.


Tom Hauser

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