11/3/2015 10:14:43 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ST. PAUL, Minn.- Key findings released today by Wakely Consulting Group show Minnesotans currently enrolled in MNsure plans will find significant savings if they return to MNsure to shop rather than auto-renew in their current plan.
The analysis, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's State Health Reform Assistance Network, looked at the availability of 2016 MNsure plans and compared that to the increase in financial help available only through MNsure.
The analysis shows that 85 percent of 2015 MNsure enrollees who are not currently receiving an advanced premium tax credit are enrolled in plans that are continuing in 2016 on MNsure, and will see an average rate increase of 38 percent if they auto-renew into their same plan. Enrollees have the opportunity to hold this to a 20 percent increase in rates if they move to the lowest cost plan in the same metal level. In some cases, individuals in this category will qualify for advanced premium tax credits for the first time, lowering their potential premium increase even more.
The analysis also shows that 87 percent of 2015 MNsure enrollees who are currently receiving an advanced premium tax credit will see an average premium increase of 24 percent if they auto-renew into their same plan. Enrollees have the opportunity to move this to a 19 percent decrease if they move to the lowest cost plan in the same metal tier.
"This study confirms what we have been saying for weeks: it literally pays to shop and compare this year on MNsure," said interim CEO Allison O'Toole. "The research is clear, and we don't want Minnesotans to leave money on the table. This independent analysis shows that if you want to find the best deal on health insurance, you need to shop through MNsure."
Other key findings show enrollees in all areas of the state will experience an increase in the second lowest cost silver premium which results in an increase in the amount of financial help available to those consumers. About 55 percent of MNsure 2015 QHP enrollees received this financial help that is only available through MNsure.
Wakely Consulting Group's /assets/consumer-impact-analysis-2015_tcm34-184945.pdffull report on MNsure can be found here (PDF).
In addition, MNsure successfully launched a new plan comparison tool today built by the non-profit organization Consumers' Checkbook. The tool will help educate consumers to make more informed decisions on the health plan that best fits their needs and budget.
The cost-comparison function will provide valuable decision support information for consumers by evaluating not just premiums and deductible amounts, but estimated out-of-pocket costs based on health status and expected use of medical services, as they compare and shop for qualified health plans on MNsure.
"Now more than ever, Minnesotans need take an active role in selecting health insurance coverage that meets their needs," said O'Toole. "Consumers' Checkbook will allow them to easily find plans and calculate a more complete picture of potential costs, bringing added transparency to the market."
The 2016 open enrollment period began November 1, 2015, and will end on January 31, 2016. Small group employers 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.