Chamberlain: Republican health care reforms are working

Friends and neighbors,

Great news to report this week: health insurance rates are going down again in 2019!

On October 2, the Minnesota Department of Commerce released final rates for the individual health insurance market in 2019. Every single carrier on the individual market is lowering their premiums next year, with the price for one plan falling by 33%.

This is a dramatic reversal from 2016, when premium were soaring and Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman declared the individual market was on the “verge of collapse” thanks to MNsure.

Here’s what you need to know about the 2019 premium rates:

For the individual market:

  • Rates will decrease on average from 7% to 28%. The highest rate decrease is 33%.
  • Every county in the state will have at least one insurer offering health coverage in the individual market.
  • All but four counties will have access to at least two insurers, and every county will have at least 14 separate plan options available.

For the small group market:

  • The average 2019 rate changes range from a 2% decrease to a 12% increase.

Minnesotans faced staggering rate increases in 2016 and 2017 – as high as 67% under some plans. Insurers were dropping out of the market and capping enrollment. Not only were people were being kicked off their plans, losing their doctors, and being forced into one-size-fits-all plans, but they were paying an arm and a leg for it.

Republicans made a promise to save Minnesota’s health insurance market, and we kept it. Insurers are expanding their coverage all over the state. Families have better access to doctors and better coverage. And the Commerce Department estimates that premiums would be about 20% higher without our reforms.

Of course, health insurance costs are still far too high.

It took years for MNsure to nearly destroy Minnesota’s health insurance market, and it won’t be rebuilt overnight. But the progress we have made in the last two years to help more families afford coverage is undeniable.

Next session, you can be sure I will push to do even more to improve transparency, reduce cost, and give you more choices.

If you have any questions, please let me know.