MN scrambles to blunt big premium hikes

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton is unveiling his plan to offset massive health insurance rate hikes for thousands of Minnesotans next year.

The rough framework introduced Thursday would help cover 25 percent of premiums for shoppers who buy coverage on the individual market. That would help reduce the average rate hikes of 55 percent for 2017 down to roughly 16 percent.

Minnesota lawmakers are scrambling to offset some of the largest premium hikes across the nation. Any financial aid would need approval in a special legislative session.

Dayton's plan would pay for the rebates by tapping $331 million meant for the state's budget reserve. That money would go to the health insurers to reduce costs for consumers who make too much to get federal subsidies.

Dayton says lawmakers need to act quickly.


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