MNsure's largest insurer drops out of health exchange, leaving plans in flux

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MNsure's top health policy seller is opting out of the state-run exchange.

KSTP reports Golden Valley-based PreferredOne Health Insurance notified MNsure and state officials Tuesday the company will no longer be selling coverage policies through MNsure.

Steve Peterson, a spokesperson for PreferredOne, told KSTP's Tom Hauser it's a business decision, saying MNsure enrollment through the company is relatively small, "but is taking a significant amount of our resources to support administratively.”

The Star Tribune notes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota came next at 23 percent.

In an email Tuesday morning, MNsure’s CEO Scott Leitz and PreferredOne CEO Marcus Merz released a joint statement:

“Today PreferredOne made the decision to not offer health plans through the health insurance exchange in 2015. Simply put, both organizations understand that MNsure is still an evolving partnership. This decision impacts 2015 enrollment. ... MNsure and PreferredOne will work closely to minimize impact to current enrollees in a PreferredOne Plan through MNsure.”

What will that impact be?

The email from MNsure says anyone who purchased PreferredOne coverage will have that health insurance through 2014, plus the right (under state law) to renew it in 2015. However, the plan's pricing could very well change.

MNsure says it will contact those with PreferredOne plans in early October to detail the next steps, but suggested users browse the MNsure marketplace to see how the plan compares to what else is available.

Open enrollment is scheduled to begin Nov. 15.

A poll from March showed four companies in Minnesota had enrolled 98 percent of people through the exchange: PreferredOne, Blue Cross Blue Shield, HealthPartners and Medica.

The Pioneer Press reports Minnesota's premiums – the lowest in the nation last year – were expected to rise.

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