Some insurers question claim of same or smaller premiums under insurance exchangeby Elizabeth Stawicki, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The state Commerce Department says the majority of Minnesotans who buy individual health insurance plans will pay the same or smaller premiums on the state insurance exchange in 2016. But some insurers question the figures.
The Commerce Department's April Todd-Malmlov told a state insurance exchange task force that on average, 70 percent of the premiums in the individual market would remain the same in 2016.
"There's definitely some that will see higher premiums but most of them are projected to have lower ones with the tax credits that are there," Malmlov said.
Insurers question how the department arrived at those numbers. Commerce officials based their conclusions on an analysis by a prominent health economist at M.I.T. The full report won't be released for about a month.
Dannette Coleman of the Medica health plan questions the conclusions. She suspects premiums are more likely to increase in 2016 that to fall or hold steady.
"There was data provided but we don't know what they did with the data that was provided. And I have concerns that we are smoothing this over beyond what the reality of it is going to be," Coleman said. "And so I just want more transparency on what these numbers are so we deal with reality."
The insurance exchange will provide an online gateway for consumers to research and buy health insurance starting in October.