SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Health insurance companies selling individual plans in Minnesota today announced proposed rate increases for 2017. In response, the Land Stewardship Project, Minnesota Nurses Association and TakeAction Minnesota released the following joint statement:
“Today we are reminded once again of the need for an ongoing discussion about the state of healthcare coverage in Minnesota and how to ensure that all Minnesotans have quality, affordable healthcare.
“The release of proposed 2017 rate increases for people who buy insurance individually, combined with the decision of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to sell only narrow-network plans, provide further evidence that these ‘nonprofit’ insurance companies are in it for the money, not to provide Minnesotans with quality medical care at prices that are affordable for individuals and businesses.
“The business model of insurance companies depends on NOT providing healthcare. Blue Cross’s decision to leave the individual market and today’s premium increases show that insurers continue to try to avoid covering the people who need care the most. This leaves us to ask: Who should be prioritized in this state by our leaders — health insurance companies or the people of Minnesota who need healthcare? Can we get healthcare that is affordable for Minnesotans from insurance companies that prioritize their bottom lines over the healthcare needs of the people they insure?
“Our leaders must build a healthcare system that provides quality, affordable care to all Minnesotans. The system we have now is not working.”
NOTE: A number of individuals from throughout Minnesota who buy insurance on the individual market are available for interviews, including people losing their coverage as a result of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield decision and people currently covered by companies that announced premium increases today. For information on how to contact these individuals, call Land Stewardship Project organizer Jonathan Maurer-Jones at 218-213-4008, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Proposed rate increases for individual plans range from 35 percent to 66 percent and can be viewed at https://ratereview.healthcare.gov.