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Minnesota Says Its Marketpace Rates Are Nation’s Lowest So Far

WebMD News from Kaiser Health News

By Elizabeth Stawicki and Catharine Richert, Minnesota Public Radio

Fri, Sep 06 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota consumers will be able to buy a health plan for as little as $90.59 per month on MNsure, the new state health insurance marketplace, state Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said Friday.

Rothman said Minnesota has the lowest average rates for individuals and families compared to the other states that have revealed the costs of their plans thus far (that includes 13 states and the District of Columbia, according to a Kaiser Health News running tally).

Data released Friday offered a first look at the new health insurance plans and rates that will be sold on MNsure. More than 1 million Minnesotans are expected to use the marketplace to obtain health coverage when it goes live on Oct. 1, offering coverage that takes effect at the start of next year.

A family of four earning as much as $31,322 a year would be eligible for free Medicaid health insurance across Minnesota.

A total of 141 individual / family and business plans are expected to be offered from five companies – Blue Cross Blue Shield, HealthPartners, Medica, PreferredOne and UCare, MnSure said. Rothman said all Minnesota counties will be served by at least two insurers. The state also posted a list of MNsure provider networks.

The plans are categorized by “metal level” — bronze, silver, gold and platinum — based on the portion of a person’s health costs the plan will pay for. The lowest-cost $90.59 policy is based on a 25-year-old, non-smoker living in the Twin Cities who selects a “bronze” plan, the department said. The highest rate listed was $407.51 per month for a 60-year-old non-smoker in the Twin Cities enrolling in a “platinum plan.”

The rates unveiled Friday don’t include any financial aid or subsidies that might be available to some consumers. It also wasn’t immediately clear what the rates would be for Minnesotans who smoke.

For small group coverage, the sticker prices (not including a small business tax credit) for MNsure monthly plan costs range from $1,127 for a small business with five workers and a $20,000 average gross income to $1,986 for the top plan with five employees earning $50,000 or more.

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