For Immediate Release:
SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced today that all health plan companies that will offer policies through Minnesota’s online health insurance marketplace, MNsure, will publicly release policy rates and information on September 6, 2013 – one month earlier than planned. The early release was agreed to by all health plan companies after the Commerce and Health Departments sent a joint letter requesting greater transparency for consumers.
“Releasing rate and policy information on September 6 is in the best interest of Minnesota consumers, it increases transparency and allows individuals, families, and small businesses more time to consider the options that will be available on MNsure,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “We appreciate the health plan companies’ agreement to release MNsure’s rate and policy information sooner.”
“Clear and accurate information makes decisions about health care easier, and we are committed to ensuring that Minnesotans have the best and most complete information about their health care options,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger. “We are thankful that the plans agreed to help make that happen for Minnesotans in this case.”
This request was made on July 26, 2013 by Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger to ensure Minnesota consumers will have the time and opportunity to fully understand their options and make informed decisions on health insurance plans for themselves, their families, and businesses. Providing this information one month prior to Open Enrollment on October 1, 2013 is in the public interest and will allow additional time for Minnesotans to compare plans, cost, and ask questions.
Minnesota law states that all forms, rates, and related information filed with the Commissioner are classified as nonpublic data until the filing becomes effective. Under the current filings, consumers would have had to wait until October 1, 2013 to obtain all information regarding the type of plans that will be offered on MNsure, including the premiums that will be charged and the provider network/service area covered by each of the health plans.
By state law, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is charged with reviewing and approving any rate increases proposed by health insurance companies selling health plans in Minnesota. The Commerce Commissioner reserves the authority to reduce proposed rate increases. This protects consumers from any unreasonable or unnecessary rate increases. Minnesota has one of the best rate review systems in the country and has been recognized as a leader in health reform related to rates.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce is here to help.
Call our Consumer Response Team at 651-539-1600 or toll-free at 1-800-657-3602 (in Greater Minnesota) if you have any questions about your health insurance policy or claim or if you believe you have been a victim of a scam or fraud.