Monday, October 25, 2021

MNsure Rates Will Raise, But Federal Tax Breaks Will Save Minnesotans Money

The Minnesota Department of Commerce said Friday that rates for individuals who buy health insurance on state-run marketplace MNsure will increase to between 4.3 and 11.3 percent.

However, many Minnesotans will eventually pay less in premiums because of tax credits from the US rescue plan passed by Congress in March. MNsure estimates that families who buy insurance through the Marketplace will save an average of $684.

MEnsure CEO Nate Clark said in a statement, “Most MEnsure enrollees who qualify will see significant savings in 2022, making it the best year for consumers to once again see how much they can save. can.”

MNsure’s open enrollment period starts from 1st November and lasts till 15th January. Plans purchased till December 15 will start coverage from January 1, while plans purchased later will start from February 1.

The 2022 individual health plan rates announced on Friday are higher than the more modest increase the state experienced a year ago when rates rose between 0.67 per cent and 4.21 per cent. Health officials say many people deferred care during the coronavirus pandemic because of safety concerns.

This year’s high rate increase for coverage beginning in 2022 prompted Senate Republicans again to demand more funding for the state’s reinsurance program, established in 2017. The program uses taxpayer money to help insurance companies cover the costs of their sickest customers.

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“Reinsurance not only prevented double-digit rate increases, but actually resulted in rate reductions for health care consumers.” Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, said in a statement. “I look forward to being able to come together to fully fund the reinsurance expansion and prevent future increases for Minnesotans that rely on this important market for affordable health insurance.”

About $188 million in reinsurance funding was included in a bipartisan two-year state budget agreement that the Legislature approved in June.

Democrats have reluctantly supported the reinsurance program, while criticizing it as a gift to wealthy insurance companies. Instead, DFLers have called for expanding public insurance options.

About 165,000 Minnesotans get their insurance through MNsure, the state’s health insurance market established under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Of those, about 1,45,000 buy individual health plans and 23,250 receive Minnesotacare, state-funded insurance for the working poor.

Another 113,000 Minnesotans receive federally funded medical aid and about 4.7 percent of the state’s 5.8 million residents are uninsured. Nationally, around 11 per cent of the population was uninsured in 2019.

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