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More Minnesotans than Ever Before will Qualify for Advanced Premium Tax Credits in 2016

10/1/2015 10:14:43 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Joe Campbell
Deputy Director of External Affairs
Joseph.J.Campbell@state.mn.us
651-539-1334

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Highlighting the importance of advanced premium tax credits for Minnesotans purchasing health insurance, MNsure interim CEO Allison O'Toole joined Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman today as the final 2016 rates were released for the individual and small group health insurance markets.

MNsure, the state's health insurance marketplace, is responsible for the administration of tax credits that help off-set premium increases and help make insurance more affordable and is the only place Minnesotans can take advantage of the cost-savings.

The rate announcement comes in advance of the MNsure open enrollment period, which begins November 1 and ends January 31, 2016, allowing time for Minnesotans to determine the insurance options that best fit their individual health and financial needs for the next year.

"The Affordable Care Act was passed and MNsure created in large part to promote market transparency and provide financial help - like advanced premium tax credits - to help make insurance coverage more affordable," said MNsure Interim CEO Allison O'Toole. "Today's rate release gives consumers needed time to evaluate their options ahead of the November 1 open enrollment period and shows how important tax credits, available only through MNsure, are to mitigating large premium increases."

O'Toole /assets/2016-MNsure-healthcare-coverage-plan-rates_tcm34-182250.pdfhighlighted several examples of how these tax credits, available only through MNsure, help lower, or in some cases completely eliminate, premium increases for Minnesotans. For example:

  • A 40-year-old in southeast Minnesota purchasing a silver plan could see a rate increase from $282/month this year to $329/month in 2016. That same person would also see their advanced premium tax credit amount increase from $159/month this year to $209/month in 2016, meaning the overall cost to the consumer will be less in 2016.
  • A 25-year-old in the Twin Cities could see her bronze plan rate increase from $110/month this year to $140/month in 2016. However, the tax credit amount through MNsure would also increase from $20/month this year to $59/month in 2016, meaning an overall savings of $9/month.
  • A 60-year-old in Yellow Medicine County could see his tax credit increase from $360/month this year to $514/month in 2016, and could purchase a bronze plan for only $11 per month.

About 55 percent of current MNsure qualified health plan enrollees receive an advanced premium tax credit. That percentage is expected to increase next year as more Minnesotans become eligible for the financial help. In 2014 alone, Minnesotans saved more than $31 million through advanced premium tax credits.

"Large insurance premium increases are unfortunate, however, MNsure offers a real solution for Minnesotans to control or eliminate these premium increases," said O'Toole. "I sincerely hope Minnesotans will not simply accept these premium increases and will instead shop and compare on MNsure to see what kind of financial help they may be able to get."

Plans sold through MNsure cover all essential health benefits, including emergency services, maternity and newborn care, pediatric visits and mental health services, among others.

MNsure is the only place where consumers can qualify for advanced premium tax credits and other financial help. MNsure is the only place Minnesotans can find out if they are eligible for cost savings such as tax credits, low-cost or even no-cost insurance.

Today, Minnesotans can find income thresholds for financial help on the MNsure website, and see what cost savings they may be eligible for, as well as a snapshot of 2016 rates. All premium rates will be available on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website beginning today. Both premium and financial help information will be available on MNsure.org starting November 1, the beginning of the 2016 open enrollment period. At that time, consumers will be able to find out what specific tax credit or other cost savings they are eligible for.

The 2016 open enrollment period is scheduled to begin November 1, 2015, and end on January 31, 2016. Small Groups and Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year round. As of May 2014, 95 percent of Minnesotans have health coverage-the highest percentage in state history.

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