Double Digit Rate Increase on MN’s Health Care Exchange in 2018

Health Care, Insurance, Rate Hikes, Premiums

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesotans looking to buy health insurance on Minnesota’s exchange will now have an idea of how much insurance premiums will rise in 2018.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has released preliminary numbers for 2018 health insurance rates.

According to proposed numbers, the hike could be significantly lower than proposed numbers for 2017.

In October, Alpha News reported the Department of Commerce’s announcement of rate hikes of 50 to 67 percent for 2017 – one of the highest premium increases in the nation.

The Department of Commerce notes that Minnesotans looking for individual plans under Blue Plus insurance will see insurance hikes between 16 and 32 percent. Medica will see an increase anywhere from 15 percent to 29 percent. UCare will see nine percent increase, while Group Health will see an average change of three to five percent.

However, the reinsurance plan passed with bicameral support from the Minnesota Legislature. It will save Minnesotans hundreds of dollars.

As reported by Alpha News, Gov. Mark Dayton allowed the $542 million reinsurance bill to pass without his signature due to objections with the funding source and the role of insurance companies.

Depending on the insurance company, with reinsurance, Minnesotans could see a hike of up to 11 percent, or a reduction in their rate up to 15 percent.

Blue Plus and Medica are the only insurance companies that could see a rise in premium rates with reinsurance. Blue Plus could see a decrease of up to two percent or a hike of up to 11 percent. Meanwhile, Medica could see a decrease in its rates of up to five percent, or a five percent increase in rates.

UCare and Group Health could see their rates drop anywhere from13 to 15 percent.

The rates are not final until the federal government approves the reinsurance program.

“We are still waiting to receive that approval and hope federal authorities decide by the end of August in order to help finalize the lower rates with reinsurance for 2018,” Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a press release.

Dayton, who applauded the work of legislative leaders to pass reinsurance, was quick to note reinsurance may not be a viable option in the long-term.

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

As of April, approximately 166,000 Minnesotans have purchased coverage through the individual market, according to figures provided by Minnesota’s Department of Commerce. 

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.