Minnesota: Hmmmm...this might not mean anything, but...

So, I just received the following press release from MNsure (Minnesota's ACA exchange)...

Tax Credits Through MNsure Can Help Lower Proposed Premiums for 2019
June 14, 2018

DULUTH, Minn.—Preliminary health insurance rates proposed by Minnesota health insurance companies will be available on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website on Friday, June 15.

Private insurance companies set premium prices, and the Minnesota Department of Commerce regulates those companies. Final, approved 2019 premium rates will be available by October 2, and the 2019 open enrollment period begins on November 1. Minnesotans shopping for health insurance through the individual market may be able to reduce premium costs in three ways:

1. See if you are eligible for tax credits only available through MNsure

According to the latest Minnesota Health Access Survey performed by the Minnesota Department of Health, "nearly one-fourth of uninsured Minnesotans in 2017 (about 75,000 people) appeared income eligible for premium subsidies in the individual market through MNsure."

Currently, three-quarters MNsure enrollees qualify for some time of financial assistance, and the state-wide average tax credit in the most recent open enrollment period was nearly $7,000 per year.

"We don't want Minnesotans to leave money on the table" said Nate Clark, acting CEO of MNsure. “Stop by mnsure.org and see if you are eligible for instant discounts off your monthly premium.”

2. Use MNsure's shop and compare tools to see if you qualify for financial help

Minnesotans can compare benefits, plan quality ratings, covered drug lists, total estimated cost and much more using MNsure's plan comparison tool. 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.

"MNsure is the only place Minnesotans can compare plans and insurance carriers side-by-side," said Clark. "Get all of the information you need to select the best plan for you and your family."

More information about financial assistance is available.

3. FREE in-person MNsure assistance in your community

MNsure has certified 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 financial assistance.

"MNsure has an extremely knowledge group of established assister partners that are ready and available to help you every step of the way," said Clark.

Though open enrollment through MNsure has ended, individuals who have recently had a baby, got married, moved, or lost their health coverage may be eligible for special enrollment.

Over 115,000 Minnesotans have found private health coverage through MNsure this year. More information can be found at mnsure.org.

Lots of useful, handy information, easy to understand. So what's the problem?

Well...hopefully nothing at all...but it did catch my attention that MNsure is sending this out the day before the 2019 rate filings are posted.

That may mean nothing at all...but it could be a red flag that after seeing rates drop by about 5% this year (thanks to their convoluted reinsurance program), they might be facing ugly increases again for 2019. At the very least, I don't recall them sending a press release like this out before the preliminary filings were released in prior years.

Then again...perhaps it's nothing to worry about.

Stay tuned!