9/1/2016 2:44:30 PM
SAINT PAUL – Beginning today, Minnesotans can now see proposed 2017 rate information submitted by Minnesota insurers for individual health insurance plans, including those that will be sold through MNsure.
The rate proposals, along with information provided by insurance companies to justify them, are available on the federal RateReview.HealthCare.gov website and through the Minnesota Commerce Department website.
The rate proposals apply only to the approximately five percent of Minnesotans who directly purchase their own individual health insurance through MNsure, insurance agents or the insurance companies themselves. Most Minnesotans receive their coverage from employer-based insurance or public programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and MinnesotaCare.
Final 2017 rates will be announced on September 30. The 2017 open enrollment period to buy health insurance begins on November 1 and continues through January 31, 2017.
Seven insurers filed rate proposals for 2017, down from eight in 2016.
In late June, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota announced that it would not sell plans on the individual market in 2017, except for its Blue Plus HMO plan. To provide insurers with time to reevaluate the state’s individual market and file revised rates, the federal government delayed posting Minnesota’s rate information until today.
The insurers’ proposals for 2017 are undergoing a detailed review by the Minnesota Commerce Department.
“Since Blue Cross’s announcement, the department has worked hard to stabilize the individual insurance market and thoroughly review each company’s rate request,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “Minnesota is not unique, as large insurers have announced they are leaving these markets across the country and many that are staying for 2017 are proposing significant rate increases. The underlying conditions causing these issues are posing challenges across the country.”
On behalf of Minnesota consumers, the Commerce Department is conducting a rigorous, thorough rate review of each company’s proposal. Rates must be justified both by the benefits that consumers receive for their premiums and by the insurance company’s ability to pay expected medical claims costs based on premium revenue. Insurers must also comply with state and federal laws that protect consumers, including coverage of pre-existing conditions and free preventive care, the adequacy of the provider network and the procedures an individual must follow to enroll or have a claim paid.
As part of the rate review process, the Commerce Department is accepting public comments on the insurers’ 2017 rate proposals. Minnesotans can submit comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a question or concern about your insurance, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at email@example.com or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).