Individual Health Insurance Plans To See A Decrease In Cost
Minnesota’s individual health insurance market will have significant rate decreases in 2019, ranging on average from 7.4 percent to 27.7 percent, according to information released today by the Minnesota Commerce Department in advance of the open enrollment period that begins on November 1.
“The rate decreases in the individual market indicate that this market continues to stabilize,” said Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman. “This positive trend is important for Minnesotans who buy their own health insurance and who benefit from the comprehensive coverage these plans offer, including coverage for preexisting medical conditions. Key trends supporting market stability include lower utilization and costs for medical services, the impact of a state reinsurance program and a strong Minnesota economy.”
The information released today shows that every county in the state will have at least one insurer offering health coverage in the individual market. Minnesotans who live in all but four counties will have access to at least two insurers, and every county will have at least 14 separate health insurance plan options available in the individual market.
The individual market rates apply 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 Minnesotans who are covered by employer-based insurance or public programs like Medicare, Medicaid and MinnesotaCare.
About three percent of Minnesotans (approximately 155,000) currently get their health insurance coverage in the individual market. About 5.5 percent (approximately 303,000) get coverage in the small group market, which serves employers with fewer than 50 full-time workers.
In the small group market, the average 2019 rate changes range from a 2.4 percent decrease to an 11.93 percent increase. As in previous years, small group rate increases reflect the general rise in health care costs, as well as a somewhat higher use of medical services reported by insurers.
Today’s rate announcement comes in advance of the annual open enrollment period, which begins on November 1 and continues through January 13, 2019. Insurance companies, insurance agents and MNsure will have specific plan information available for consumers soon.
Minnesotans are encouraged to make their insurance selection during open enrollment, shopping and comparing plans to find one that offers the best value for their health needs and budget. For the continuity of their own health care, consumers should carefully review a plan’s provider network to see what doctors, clinics and hospitals are included.