Ouch! Officials unveil big hikes in 2016 MNsure insurance rates

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Tom Scheck · Oct 1, 2015

Buying health coverage through MNsure will get a lot more expensive for many people next year.

Average rate increases for individual and family coverage will range from 14 percent to 49 percent compared to 2015, the agency said Thursday. The highest average rate increase — 49 percent — will come from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the state's largest insurer.

The rate hikes by health plans are "unacceptably high," Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman told reporters.

When Blue Cross pushed to raise rates by more than 50 percent in June, other insurers wanted similar hikes, he added.

He noted that many people buying coverage through MNsure will be eligible for subsidies that will ultimately lower the actual cost from the sticker prices made public Thursday.

Still, the jumps are likely to alarm policymakers and embolden critics of MNsure, the health care exchange launched by Minnesota two years ago as part of the federal Affordable Care Act.

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