The Free Press, Mankato, MN

MN Health Care

September 18, 2013

MNsure unveils costs of health plans

ST. PAUL — Uninsured Minnesotans in the Twin Cities can expect to pay as little as $91 a month for health care coverage bought through MNsure, the state's new online marketplace.

State officials released cost and coverage details today, though people won't be able to shop for insurance until Oct. 1, when the website goes live.

"We believe that ... these rates that we're announcing today undeniably are extremely competitive," Minnesota Commerce Department Commissioner Mike Rothman said. His department regulates insurance products.

Initially, state officials were not going to release details on the MNsure plans until Oct. 1. But to drum up interest in the exchange, officials convinced health plan executives to make that information available earlier.

Rothman said that Minnesota has the lowest average rates in the country compared to plans offered on 11 other exchanges. A total of 141 plans for individuals and families will be offered on MNsure, and 63 plans will be available to small businesses.

Premium rates vary by region, age and smoking status.

So, if you're a 25-year-old non-smoker living in the Twin Cities, you can pay $91 a month for a "bronze" plan, the cheapest option on the exchange, which must cover 60 percent of an average individual's medical costs.Larger viewApril Todd-Malmlov

But if you're a 60-year-old in the Twin Cities and want a more robust "platinum" plan, which covers 90 percent of medical costs, you'll see a list price of about $408 a month.

Rates get more expensive if you're buying for an entire family or for employees in a small business. And if you're under 30, you may also qualify for a catastrophic plan, which is cheaper than the least expensive bronze plans.

Those costs are before federal subsidies are taken into account.

• Explainer: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze plans

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