Write about your experiences with MNsure

Published 9:42 am Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Point of View by Brian Hensley

Starting Jan. 1, thousands of families across Minnesota will be paying more for their health insurance. Again. Over the past several weeks and months, I have been amazed at some of the numbers that have been shared by neighbors, friends and families.

Obamacare has been a failure on a national level.

Brian Hensley

Brian Hensley

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In October 2014, a 50-state study by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research and the Brookings Institution, examined what actually happened to insurance premiums in 2014. They found that 2014 premiums in non-group markets increased 24.4 percent, compared to what they would have been without Obamacare. Premiums rose in all but six states. Nine states saw gains of 35 percent or more in non-group markets, including three of our most populous states: Texas, Florida and Georgia.

The [resident repeatedly promised that the Affordable Care Act would reduce insurance premiums by $2,500 for a typical family.

MNsure has been a failure on the state level.

According to MPR News Oct. 1, “Average rate increases for individual and family coverage will range from 14 percent to 49 percent compared to 2015, the agency said. The highest average rate increase — 49 percent — will come from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the state’s largest insurer.”

Many have been forced to change plans they liked because of the massive spikes — more than 50 percent in some instances — in premiums.

MNsure has cost taxpayers more than $200 million. I hear Gov. Dayton always looking for ways to spend taxpayer money, but think of how many roads we could have replaced and how many broadband grants we could have funded with that money.

This program has been a horrible failure. It’s time for the Minnesota Legislature to fix MNsure.

It is time to stop pouring money into a website that still isn’t working. Moving to the federal exchange will save Minnesota taxpayers millions and provide a better user experience.

It’s clear that MNsure and Obamacare have done the exact opposite of what was promised. Instead of more affordable health insurance, prices are rising. Instead of quality plans, deductibles have gone through the roof, and choice has been limited. It’s time to start over or at the very least make major reforms that deliver on the promises made when Obamacare was passed six years ago. This will take action at the federal level, and require President Obama and Democrats to finally admit their mistake, apologize and work in good faith with Republicans to follow through on their promises to the American people and Minnesota families.

In the previously mentioned MPR News article, Allison O’Toole, MNsure’s interim executive director, said, “I encourage Minnesotans to come to MNsure to shop and compare plans,” O’Toole said. “For those who don’t you’re potentially leaving money on the table.”

I have a second option.  I encourage everyone to share your story.  Please write a letter to this newspaper, and share your experiences with MNsure. Send a copy to Gov. Dayton and Sen. Sparks. Let’s make sure Sen. Sparks and Gov. Dayton hear our opinion.  Have your rates gone down?  Has MNsure worked for your family? Have you gotten better treatment from MNsure than you were provided by your previous carrier? Has your employer been forced to change your insurance plan due to rising costs? Have you been forced into a higher-deductible plan to make the premiums affordable? Can you afford your new deductible?   Are you saving your $2,500 per year that President Obama promised?


Brian Hensley is a chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party and local financial adviser with Intego Financial Group. Brian also serves on the city of Albert Lea Parks and Recreation Board. All opinions are his and do not necessarily reflect those of the organizations he is associated with.