MNsure Monthly Premiums Likely to Increase Significantly

Updated: 07/10/2014 7:27 AM By: Jay Kolls

The head of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans gave a hint of what might come soon to those who pay for health insurance coverage through MNsure, Minnesota's health care exchange. 

Julie Brunner is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, which is the professional association for the HMOs that offer health coverage through MNsure. Brunner recently told a University of Minnesota symposium that she would "not be surprised if the health plans increased their rates by 8, 10, or even 12 percent." 

Gov. Mark Dayton tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he would be disappointed by such a large percentage increase in premiums, but the governor pointed out Minnesota still has the lowest rates in the country and that his goal is to keep it that way.

Dayton also says Brunner is entitled to her opinion.

"No one knows what the rates will be when they are approved and announced in November," Brunner said.

Minnesota does not allow public disclosure of rate negotiations by law. University of Minnesota Professor Larry Jacobs says the public will start to get a very good idea of what the rates will be long before the November elections, even though the political strategy appears to indicate elected incumbents want the new rates withheld until after the elections.

Jacobs says it will be tough to keep the MNsure rate issue below the radar, and the strategy might backfire for incumbents.