Minnesota: 2015 Rates to increase only 4.5% on average (unweighted), new company replacing PreferredOne

It may seem a bit pointless to keep posting 2015 premium rate changes now that we're only 6 weeks away from the Open Enrollment period anyway (everyone will find out soon enough at this point), but the BS is still flying fast & furious, and the topic seems especially relevant in Minnesota's case since the largest insurer on the 2014 exchange, PreferredOne, has pulled out for Year Two:

Minnesota officials say the average rate for policies sold on the state health insurance exchange next year will go up 4.5 percent.

But, they say Minnesotans will still have access to the lowest average rates in the nation.

The five companies participating in the exchange range from dropping their averages by 10 percent to hiking them more than 17 percent.

They declined to say which companies are raising rates and which are lowering them.

BluePlus joins Blue Cross Blue Shield, HealthPartners, Medica and UCare this year.

Unfortunately, not only is there no way of doing a weighted average here since the current enrollees for the various plans aren't listed, I can't even post which companies are increasing or decreasing their rates. Ah, well.

In another bit of good news, while PreferredOne may have pulled out of the MN exchange, it's being replaced by a new entrant (BluePlus), so there's still plenty of competition.