MN Healthcare System in Crisis After Insurance Rates Skyrocket

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The Dayton Administration announced skyrocketing cost increases of anywhere from 47% to 108% for Minnesotans who buy their own health insurance for 2017.

Blue Cross Blue Shield, which has the predominant share of policies sold in greater Minnesota, recently announced they will be pulling out of the individual market.  That leaves only seven carriers who have filed rate proposals for individual plans for next year.  There are more than 100,000 Blue Cross policy holders who will lose coverage at the end of the year and the increase in healthcare premiums will make finding a policy more difficult and it will cost significantly more than it did the previous year.

Minnesota State Representative Matt Dean (R-38B) is asking Governor Mark Dayton to call a special session to deal with this healthcare crisis.

A press release by Rep. Dean states, “Middle-class Minnesota is in a vice.  Health insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays are crashing family budgets and killing job growth.  Our mandates and soviet-style bureaucracy are forcing everyone into one-size-fits-all policies that middle-class families can no longer afford to buy, and insurers can no longer afford to sell.”

This latest increase falls on the heels of back-to-back increases in health insurance costs and reduced coverage in health plans.

According to KARE-11, the dramatic increases in rates were anticipated because of the costs of providing health care to patients who buy insurance on the individual market and other states have exceeded the premiums they pay.

Governor Dayton issued a press release earlier today, which said, “I am alarmed by the drastic increases in health insurance rates for Minnesotans in the individual market, which are also occurring in many other states under the Affordable Care Act.”

Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizen’s Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) told Alpha News, “Governor Dayton’s alarm over skyrocketing premiums is six years too late. The passage of Obamacare guaranteed unaffordable premiums. Indemnity policies were prohibited, managed care got the whole market, more than 20,000 pages of regulations were piled on, expensive mandated benefits were added, and the sick headed for the government exchange to get their care covered by taxpayers.”
“When the Obamacare redistribution programs failed, insurers bailed, giving the remaining health plans the power to name their price. Americans are terrified by the rate increases, health plans are hoping to make out like bandits and Obamacare exchanges are in a tailspin. States must act to stop Obamacare before it destroys the economic and health freedom of all Americans,” Brase added.

Dean’s statement says, “It is unfathomable that the state demands that people buy insurance, but does not make the necessary changes to allow it to be sold at an affordable price, if at all.  Isn’t that what this whole mess was supposed to prevent?”

Dean asks Governor Dayton to consider allowing Minnesotans to use the “emergency exit” out of MNSure to get insurance and get the cost reductions and tax incentives, consider allowing insurers to offer more options and policies for middle-class people who buy insurance without government, big companies or unions to protect them – and lastly, he asks the Governor to call a special session to enact legislation to provide immediate relief to policy holders by stabilizing the individual market.

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Donna Azarian