Minnesota: *Final* 2020 ACA premiums: 1.0% *decrease*

Back in July, I noted that the Minnesota Commerce Department announced the preliminary 2020 rate changes for carriers on the individual and small group markets. At the time, the weighted average increases were roughly 1.6% and 5.5% respectively, although the enrollment estimates for each carrier were estimates only.

Today, the MN Commerce Dept. announced the approved rates for 2020, and in both markets, they shaved average premiums down a couple of points. Here's the actual Commerce Dept. press release:

Commerce releases 2020 health insurance rates for Minnesota

Minnesota’s individual and small group health insurance market rates for 2020 reflect stabilized markets, according to information released today by the Minnesota Department of Commerce in advance of the open enrollment period beginning November 1.

"Rates for health insurance plans in the individual and small group markets for 2020 indicate that Minnesota has stable health insurance markets. However, many Minnesotans still struggle to afford health insurance, due in part to the combination of expensive premiums and out-of-pocket costs," said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley.

With Blue Plus joining Medica in offering statewide plans, every county in Minnesota will have at least two insurers offering coverage in the individual market, and every county will have at least 14 separate health insurance plan options available in the individual market. Additionally, three insurers—UCare, HealthPartners and Medica—will not have enrollment caps in 2020.

The small group market serves employers with fewer than 50 full-time workers who purchase insurance for their employees. Individual market rates apply to health insurance plans that Minnesotans purchase for themselves and their families through MNsure, insurance agents or the insurance companies directly. The rates do not affect Minnesotans who are covered by large employer-based insurance or public programs like Medicare, Medicaid and MinnesotaCare.

In the small group market, the 2020 average rate changes range from a 9.43 percent decrease to an 8.87 percent increase. In the individual market, the 2020 average rate changes range from a 20 percent decrease to a 0.18 percent increase.

Here's the actual rate changes for each carrier and market-wide for both the indy and small group markets. The individual market average dropped from a 1.6% increase to a 1.0% decrease year over year; the small group market dropped from a 5.5% hike to a 3.9% increase: