Insurance woes

Minnesota’s Affordable Care program is turning into a disaster for people who insure themselves. Last Friday the state announced major rate increases for private plan health insurance policies. Minnesota Commerce Comissioner Mike Rothman said the state had to agree to those increases in order to keep the seven insurance companies that still offer private plans from dropping out of the market entirely last summer.

“We all were faced with the prospect that there would be nothing available. Nothing. Everyone needs to hear the sirens and the red lights,” he said.

Just five percent of Minnesotans purchase insurance through the state exchange, MNsure, or directly from insurers, but they are often people who can’t afford to keep paying double digit annual premium increases.

This is the impact of the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare. The rules have reshaped the insurance market. Those companies that have been participating have been seeing ever increasing costs in the private policy market and are pulling out.

Minnesota needs to take a long, hard look at the problem and seek a solution. It shouldn’t be a political battle, but a real attempt to correct a problem in an obviously flawed system.