ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesotans who buy health insurance on their own may see slight premium hikes or even some price drops next year.
State regulators announced preliminary rates for next year that range from a 15 percent decrease to an 11 percent bump compared to premiums in 2017. Those rates vary widely by insurer and may change by the time premiums are finalized in early October.
But it was welcome news for shoppers and politicians after insurers bumped their prices by as much as 67 percent this year. The lower rates hinge on the federal government approving and funding part of a new, $542 million fund created by lawmakers this year to control costs in the individual market.
Gov. Mark Dayton calls it "tremendous news" that health insurance rates will remain basically unchanged.
"I applaud the Minnesota legislators, who worked together to pass this pioneering legislation, which is being shown to cause major reductions in the costs of health insurance next year for many thousands of Minnesotans," Gov. Dayton said in a statement. "However, those reductions come at a very high cost to our state's treasury, totaling $543 million over the next two years. We will be hard-pressed to continue to provide those subsidies alone. It is essential that the President and the US Congress act now to share this responsibility in the years ahead."
© 2017 Associated Press