Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman today released the 2017 insurance company rates for individual and small group health plans – saying that rate increases in the individual market are unsustainable but that tax credits available through MNsure will help many Minnesotans.
About five percent of Minnesotans (approximately 250,000) currently get their coverage from individual policies, while another five percent get coverage from small group policies, which are for employers with fewer than 50 workers.
For the seven insurers in the individual market, the 2017 rate increases range from 50 percent to 67 percent. For the 10 insurers in the small group market, the 2017 rate changes range from a one percent decrease to an 18 percent increase....
The individual market rates apply only to health insurance plans that Minnesotans purchase for themselves and their families through MNsure, insurance agents or the insurance companies directly. The rates do not affect most Minnesotans, who are covered by employer-based insurance or public programs like Medicare, Medicaid and MinnesotaCare.
Rothman encouraged consumers to contact MNsure to see if they are eligible for federal tax credits that automatically reduce monthly premiums. The tax credits are available only for individual policies purchased through MNsure for people with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The upper income threshold for tax credit eligibility in 2017 is $47,520 for an individual and $97,200 for a family of four.
The Commerce Department does not set health insurance rates. Instead, it reviews each company’s rate proposals to make sure they comply with state and federal laws based on the benefits that consumers receive and the company’s ability to collect adequate premium revenue to pay for consumers’ medical claims. Insurers must provide coverage for a comprehensive set of essential health benefits, and they are no longer allowed to deny coverage or charge higher premiums to consumers based on preexisting health conditions.
Continue reading this news release at the Minnesota Department of Commerce's website.