7/28/2017 10:00:00 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ST. PAUL, Minn.—On Monday, July 31, preliminary health insurance rates proposed by Minnesota health insurance companies will be available on the federal RateReview.HealthCare.gov website.
Private insurance companies set premium prices, and the Minnesota Department of Commerce regulates those companies. But MNsure is prepared to help Minnesota consumers shopping for health insurance through the individual market reduce premium costs in three ways:
1. Federal tax credits only available through MNsure
MNsure is the only place Minnesotans can take advantage of federal tax credits that can lower monthly health insurance premiums. These tax credits act like instant discounts off monthly insurance premiums.
About two-thirds of MNsure enrollees qualify for these federal tax credits, and the state-wide average tax credit in the most recent open enrollment period was more than $7,000 per year.
In previous years, the Minnesota Department of Health found as many as 107,000 eligible Minnesotans did not receive the credits, because they did not enroll in coverage through MNsure.
"Federal tax credits can reduce premiums, but the credit is only available when Minnesotans enroll through MNsure," said Allison O’Toole, CEO of MNsure. “We don’t want to see any Minnesotans leaving money on the table.”
2. Side-by-side comparison shopping
MNsure is also the only place where Minnesotans can compare plans from multiple health insurance companies all in one place. Consumers who compare plans on MNsure are often able to find comparable plans at reduced prices, as well as see all costs associated with a particular plan, such as co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.
"Similar to the role that Orbitz, Travelocity or Kayak play in the airfare market, MNsure.org helps Minnesotans find the best possible health plan deal," said O'Toole. "While premiums can be alarming to consumers, shopping through MNsure can sometimes help them find a similar plan at a cheaper price."
3. Free in-person assistance
In addition to MNsure’s online shopping too, MNsure also has /help/find-assister/index.jspcertified brokers and navigators throughout Minnesota who can provide free, in-person enrollment help. MNsure-certified brokers and navigators can help consumers select a plan, complete an application, and identify cost savings.
"Shopping for health insurance is complex and confusing, so MNsure also offers free in-person help," said O'Toole. “Whether online or in-person, we’re ready to help Minnesotans protect themselves and their loved ones.”
Ninety-six percent of Minnesotans have health coverage—the highest percentage in state history. In plan year 2017, more than 500,000 Minnesotans have found health coverage through MNsure. Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year-round. More information can be found at MNsure.org.