10/01/2016 – By Blake Neff
Minnesota will let health insurers increase their rates by at least 50 percent next year to protect the state’s Obamacare health insurance individual market from “collapse,” the state announced Friday.
The announcement came from Minnesota commerce commissioner Mike Rothman, who explained bluntly that the state’s individual market was barely staying afloat.
“The Commerce Department pursued every option within its power to avert a collapse this year,” said Rothman. “We succeeded in saving the market for 2017, with only Blue Cross leaving. But the rates insurers are charging will increase significantly to address their expected costs and the loss of federal reinsurance support.”
The increase in premiums for next year will range between 50 percent and a staggering 67 percent. This comes on the heels of an increase of between 14 percent and 49 percent for 2016. After those increases, Rothman warns, the annual growth rate will be completely unsustainable, showing a desperate need for reform.