Inside the Minnesota Capitol

Inside the Minnesota Capitol

Minnesota politics, regulatory agencies and state government news updates

Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Orders Insurers To Cease Using “Price-Optimization”

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On November 16, 2015, Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman issued Administrative Bulletin No. 2015-3, which ordered Property & Casualty Insurers doing business in the State of Minnesota to cease using “price optimization” in conjunction with the personal lines policies in the State of Minnesota.

The Commissioner’s concerns arise out of property & casualty insurers’ use of non-insurance consumer data, which Commissioner Rothman described as nothing more than “high-tech price gouging.”

Pointing to the rate making requirements under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 70A, Commissioner Rothman stated that “price optimization” “violates the state law because it unfairly discriminates by charging different premiums for consumers who otherwise have similar risk profiles.” He went on to state that insurance companies “that use price optimization are secretly and unfairly penalizing customers for their loyalty by charging them higher premiums.”

Due to the fact that the “price optimization” is becoming more widespread in the industry, Commissioner Rothman issued the Administrative Bulletin to all Property & Casualty Insurers doing business in the State of Minnesota. He further advised the property & casualty industry that the Department had recently rejected a rate filing by an auto insurer that included price optimization techniques, and strongly signaled that any filings by any other property & casualty insurer will meet the same fate.

To the extent any other property & casualty insurer has been using price optimization in the State of Minnesota, Commissioner Rothman ordered that they immediately cease the practice and submit revised filings within sixty (60) days from the date of the Bulletin to remove this rating practice, and submit a corrective action plan.

Lastly, Commissioner Rothman is requiring that, for all future property & casualty rate filings in the State of Minnesota, a company officer or actuary of the company will be required to swear under oath that “price optimization” is not being used.

If you have any questions regarding the Commissioner’s directive, please give me a call at 612-604-6447 or e-mail me at

October Revenue Collections Up

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Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) announced today that general fund revenue collections for October were $4 million above what was predicted. October receipts from the individual income tax and sales tax exceeded expectations. For fiscal year 2016 which began on July 1, 2015, receipts are now $6.093 billion, $140 million (2.4 percent) more than forecast.

This announcement is good news for those who are waiting for MMB’s November Forecast.

Political Notes

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Sertich Appointed to the Minnesota Stadium Facilities Authority

After the dust up with Stadium Authority member Duane Benson and Stadium Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen, Governor Dayton appointed former IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich to replace Benson. Sertich served as Commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board until 2011 when he stepped down to take a position with Northland Foundation. Sertich also served in the state House and rose to the House Majority Leader position.

Benson served in the Minnesota Senate as Minority Leader and played in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders. He resigned from the Board this June after saying Chair Kelm-Helgen called him “untrustworthy” and “a liar,” a charge Kelm-Helgen denied. The MSFA is tasked with overseeing the $1 billion football stadium development project which includes significant public funding.

Campaign Rumblings

Jim Abeler, former state Representative from Anoka who retired from the state House in 2014, is actively exploring a run for SD35. The current member representing Senate District 35, Branden Petersen (R-Andover), has announced he will not run for re-election in 2016.

Abeler represented the House District in the Anoka area for 8 terms from 1998 to 2014. He served as Chair of the Health and Human Services Finance Committee and was the House GOP lead on HHS related issues. He retired and ran for the U.S. Senate seat in 2014. He sought the GOP endorsement and ran in the Primary ultimately losing to the endorsed candidate Mike McFadden, who in turn lost to incumbent Senator Al Franken.

Federal Campaign Finance PAC Reports – Due July 31, 2015

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All Federal Political Action Committees (PACs) are required to submit a campaign finance report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on or before Friday, July 31, 2015. Unless the PAC has elected a monthly filing schedule, the semi-annual report must reflect all receipts and disbursements between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015.

Under the FEC’s mandatory electronic filing rules, any committee that receives contributions or makes expenditures in excess of $50,000 in a calendar year, or expects to do so, must submit all campaign finance reports electronically. Committees that do not meet the $50,000 threshold are permitted to file paper reports but the FEC strongly recommends the voluntary use of the electronic filing system. Once a committee begins to file reports electronically, on a voluntary basis, it must continue to do so for the remainder of the calendar year unless the FEC determines that extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances make electronic filing impractical.

Electronic filers have until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on July 31, 2015, to file the July semi-annual report. Paper filers must ensure that the FEC receives their report by the close of business on the date of the filing deadline.

To file the Federal PAC Report online, filers may use the FECFile software, available for download here. Forms and information for paper filers may be accessed here.

Doug Loon named new Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President

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After a nationwide search conducted by an independent firm, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce announced this week that  Doug Loon has been selected as its new president.   Loon, who will fill the vacancy left by David Olson who passed away in July of 2014, will assume his new role on September 8.

Loon began working for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1995 and is currently employed as the national chamber’s vice president for regional affairs and advocacy for the Midwest Region.  Loon manages the national chamber’s seven regional offices that provide political and grassroots outreach across the nation.  In addition, he manages the U.S. Chamber’s Midwest Region that includes Minnesota.

Previously, he served as the U.S. Chamber’s director of Congressional and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., legislative director in the U.S. Senate, and as acting director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government and international affairs from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., is married to Minnesota State Representative Jenifer Loon (R), and lives in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Post Session News

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Minimum Wage Hike for Airport Workers

On Monday, the Metropolitan Airports Commission backed a $10 an hour minimum wage for about 2,800 employees of airline subcontractors.

Commission members voted 11-4 for the proposal, which requires the airport minimum wage to always be $1 more than the State minimum. It takes effect August 1. Commission Chair Dan Boivin expects wage talks to continue, but said the airport needs to stay competitive to keep airlines from going to similar size airports in the Midwest. The four members who voted against the measure said it wasn’t their place to set minimum wage standards, preferring the decision be left to State lawmakers.

Some union leaders say the Commission’s decision should be viewed only as a first step and are advocating for at least $15 an hour.

Winkler’s Seat

Gov. Mark Dayton set a special election for Nov. 3 to fill the House District 46A seat. If a primary is needed it would be held Aug. 11.

The seat is being vacated by Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) on July 1. Winkler resigned because his family is moving to Belgium this summer for his wife’s job.

The filing period for candidates runs from June 17 until June 22. Two DFL candidates have already registered campaign committees for the contest: Peggy Flanagan of St. Louis Park, Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund, Minnesota; and Tim Reardon of Golden Valley, founder of Cheassisi Consulting. Winkler has endorsed Flanagan. She has been active in efforts to raise the minimum wage, which was a key issue for Winkler.

Rural MN Report Card

During last year’s state House elections, Minnesota Republicans promised voters the GOP would focus on issues of relevance to Greater Minnesota. Republicans and Democrats are arguing about the effectiveness of the session in helping rural Minnesotans.

“If this was the session for greater Minnesota and economic development, greater Minnesota better not hope for another session like this,” Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul) said during a hearing on the Jobs and Economic Development budget bill at the end of session.

Lawmakers heard about the poor condition of roads and bridges in greater Minnesota and the need for more spending to fix them and both Republicans and Democrats pledged to take action. However, the impasse over a major transportation funding package turned into one of the session’s greatest failures. The standoff came down to differences over whether to increase the gas tax to pay for new road and bridge construction. In the end, only a “lights-on” transportation bill was signed into law.

Legislators may revisit the issue next year, but political positions are unlikely to change before the 2016 election.

Also abandoned was a Republican effort to pass a tax bill, which included property tax cuts for farmers, and an increase in local government aid for rural towns.

A proposed thirty million dollars in broadband funding, a priority for rural Minnesotans, fell to ten million dollars.

Not all was lost. Farmers who lost bird flocks due to Avian Flu got some relief and lawmakers added $138 million to the budget for nursing homes – a key issue since outstate Minnesota has higher concentrations of elderly people and nursing home care is in high demand.

Sex Offender Program Ruling

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank ruled Wednesday it’s unconstitutional for Minnesota to keep civilly committed sex offenders locked up indefinitely. He made it clear he wants to work quickly, ordering a pre-hearing conference for August 10 “to fashion suitable remedies.”

State officials sought to assure the public that the ruling would not bring the immediate release of offenders and that the State would continue to defend its law. “We continue to believe that both the Minnesota Sex Offender Program and the civil commitment statute are constitutional,” Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement suggesting the State plans to appeal the decision.

More than 700 civilly committed sex offenders had sued the State claiming it was unconstitutional to keep them locked up indefinitely and that they don’t get adequate treatment from the program run by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Legislators have been waiting to see how the case played out in federal court. Frank said lawmakers have to do something about a program he called “draconian” and in need of “substantial changes.”

Electricity Rates

Gov. Mark Dayton signed a Jobs and Energy budget bill that gives an electricity rate break to mining companies, paper mills and steel mills. It aims to help lower energy costs for companies competing in a global marketplace, among them the taconite mines on the Iron Range. Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) said about 1,000 people working in the taconite mines on the Iron Range have been laid off in the past year. He said lowering the cost of electricity will help these companies compete.

To pay for the break for industrial companies, residents and smaller businesses may have to pay more. Sen. John Marty (DFL-Roseville) said he didn’t object to helping out steel and paper companies, but worries that the way the law is written, other companies could also take advantage of it. He said that means higher rates for everyone else.

It’s not clear yet how many companies would seek a rate reduction under the new law. Those that do would have to apply to their power company, which would then have to ask for approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

Even though the threat of a rate hike is real for residents, rates could go even higher if U.S. Steel and other companies go out of business.

Net Metering

Local power companies have had to buy excess electricity from Minnesota homeowners who have solar panels on their roofs and farmers with small wind turbines. The utilities must also sell electricity to those customers when they need it. The arrangement is known as “net metering.”

As part of the recently passed Jobs and Energy budget bill, beginning in July, a municipal utility or a co-op can begin charging new net metering customers a “reasonable and appropriate” fee simply for being part of their electric grid system.

Current customers are not affected by the change. The new language also does not apply to the State’s largest power company, Xcel Energy, so Xcel customers interested in adding solar would not be affected.

Net metering was designed as an incentive for renewable energy investment. According to Science Policy Director for Fresh Energy, J. Drake Hamilton, the upcoming change is unfair. Supporters of the change insist it will level the playing field for all customers. Kristi Robinson, Distribution System Engineer at Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric, said net metering customers pay less than other customers but use the system more, because they both buy and sell electricity.

It’s also not clear how much utilities will charge. It’s up to the municipal utility or co-op to decide.

Senate Environment and Energy Chair John Marty (DFL-Roseville) thinks it will cause market uncertainty for Minnesota businesses involved with renewable energy. However, House Energy Chair Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) believes it was a necessary fix.

Special Session: Signed, Sealed and Delivered

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The illusive Special Session lived up to its hype. Despite the close proximity of the two temporary chambers in the State Office Building, the bodies were far apart in their desired outcome for the session.

After endless hours of deal making and debate among legislators within the same party, across party lines, and between chambers in an attempt to pass a controversial Agriculture/Environment budget bill, the Minnesota Legislature passed the three reworked vetoed budget bills (Education, Ag/Environment, and Jobs/Energy) as well as the Legacy, Capital Bonding and Revisers’ bills and adjourned Sine Die in the wee hours on Saturday, June 13. Governor Mark Dayton signed the bills Saturday morning as soon as they landed on his desk.

The first time the Senate voted on the Agriculture/Environment bill it fell one vote short of the 34 necessary to pass. Eventually the Senate voted to alter the bill and reinstate the Minnesota Pollution Control Citizens’ Board and remove a provision that allows copper nickel mining waste to be exempt from solid waste permitting, even though Governor Dayton had an agreement from legislative leaders not to adopt any amendments to the bills as introduced.

The Senate then passed the bill and sent it to the House, which promptly reinstated the changes the Senate had made and sent the bill back to the Senate. Despite opposition from Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) and other metro area legislators, the bill’s sponsor, Senator David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) said overall, with requirements for buffer strips between cropland and water supported by the Governor, and money to help turkey farmers struggling with avian flu, the measure was worth supporting.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) and Senate Republicans were able to scramble and find 5 more votes to pass the bill.  Republican Senate Minority Leader David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) said all but one of his members voted for the bill because Bakk promised to pass significant tax cuts next year. Since then, Bakk has said he didn’t characterize the tax cuts as “significant.”

Lawmakers will reconvene at noon on March 8, 2016, and begin the work on how to allocate the approximately $800 million of the $1.9 billion surplus left unspent. Rest assured it won’t be an easy ride and election year politics are sure to feature prominently.

Special Session Set For Today – June 12, 2015

Posted in Bills, Budget, Democrats, House of Representatives, Republicans, Tax

After weeks of negotiations, speculation, and a late night caucus, Governor Mark Dayton called the Special Session for today at 10 a.m.  The six bills on the approved agenda are the three budget bills that Dayton vetoed at the close of session a month ago: Agriculture/Environment, Jobs/Energy, and Education; as well as the Legacy, Bonding and Revisors bills that didn’t make it through both chambers before the clock struck midnight on the last day of the regular legislative session.

Following House Speaker Kurt Daudt’s (R-Crown) urging, on Monday the Governor announced that he was dropping his battle with Republicans over a new law allowing counties to bypass the State Auditor and hire private accountants so lawmakers can finish the budget and prevent a July 1 partial government shutdown. In the same breath, he said he had several other demands that needed to be met before he would call a special session.

Dayton said he wanted three changes to the jobs bill: $5 million for programs that help people with disabilities find jobs, striking language regarding changes to the way utility customers are credited for producing solar or wind energy on their utility bills, and language lowering electricity rates for some major trade-exposed industries such as mining and forest products in northeastern Minnesota.

He also said he’d like the Legislature to reconsider and approve more funding for rural broadband, facilities for sex offenders, and rail grade crossing safety, along with a Destination Medical Center spending formula fix to give Rochester the flexibility to use its local sales tax for DMC.

The Governor and House Republicans came to terms late Tuesday on the jobs and energy bill, agreeing to include $5 million to assist disabled Minnesotans, adding a provision to help mining and paper companies with energy costs, and the tax clarification provision for the Destination Medical Center in Rochester.

Dayton insisted that the caucuses agree to no amendments, saying that “self-serving amendments and grandstanding are not acceptable.” The caucuses met Thursday evening and Dayton addressed the Senate Democrats. Bakk said he still doesn’t know if there are enough Senate DFL votes to pass the reworked budget bills. He needed Republicans’ help to pass the first version of the agriculture and environment bill, and many Democrats remain opposed to that bill because of what they view as a weakening of environmental protections.

Daudt said he is confident he has the votes to pass the budget bills in the House.

Sales Tax Change

The Legislature is set to delay by a year a previously approved sales tax exemption for cities, counties and other government entities that team up to provide services through “joint powers” arrangements.

Local officials say the change, which is part of an education bill that will come up in a special session, came out of nowhere in May and runs contrary to the state’s demands they deliver services more efficiently.

In 2013, the Legislature passed a law that exempted cities and counties from paying state sales taxes on certain equipment, computers and office supplies. But lawmakers had to clarify the law in 2014 to explicitly include transactions involving joint powers arrangements in which police, fire and other services are collaboratively provided across municipal boundaries.

The tax exemption was set to kick in this January, but the bill lawmakers will vote on pushes it back to 2017. The delay cleared the Legislature on the last day of session, but Dayton vetoed the education funding bill.

Speaker Daudt said he doesn’t anticipate changing the education budget bill to address the sales tax issue. Daudt said the idea of a delay originated with majority Senate Democrats in the regular session’s waning hours as leaders worked to finalize a budget. Majority Leader Bakk has said leaders needed to find extra money because Republicans were insistent on leaving $1 billion aside for the 2016 session. It was put in the education bill because a separate tax bill failed to move.

In The Weeds

Manny Munson-Regala, Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health is stepping over to run the Cottage Grove-based cannabis manufacturer, LeafLine Labs. The Office of Medical Cannabis was responsible for day-to-day operation of the program but its Director, Michelle Larson, was beneath Munson-Regala in the agency’s hierarchy.

Qualifying patients are just a few weeks away from being able to buy cannabis from LeafLine and one other approved manufacturer.

Munson-Regala’s latest move between the public and private sector involves one of the most controversial recent state initiatives, and his exit is raising questions about independence. Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) who opposed the medical marijuana legalization measure, voiced concerns. State Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, said Munson-Regala’s new job should give the public pause. Marty said he plans to again introduce legislation aimed at former government officials moving to the private sector who then lobby on behalf of their new employer.

Munson-Regala also said he played no direct role in selecting LeafLine as a one of the state’s two cannabis providers last fall, and hasn’t had a direct role in regulating the medical cannabis industry since then. The Health Department says he’s been relieved of his responsibilities related to the medical cannabis program until he formally leaves the Department. He’ll join LeafLine in early July.

Week In Review

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Special Session – Not Yet

Governor Mark Dayton and House Republican leaders on Monday tentatively agreed to a two-year school spending budget, moving them one step closer to avoiding a partial government shutdown come July 1.

The Governor had vetoed education and other budget bills as the session closed in May. State officials have already sent layoff notices to more than 9,400 state employees warning of July 1 layoffs if there is no budget deal.

One of the major sticking points had been Dayton’s push for immediate spending on universal pre-kindergarten. Dayton conceded that demand but said he’ll still push for universal pre-K in the future.

He said he would agree to a Republican proposal to increase overall school spending by $525 million over the next two years instead of the $550 million he wanted. Although negotiations have been largely behind closed doors for the past few weeks, it was a public offer from Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) that Dayton ultimately accepted.

Daudt’s offer eliminates Republican proposals to change teacher tenure laws and their push to reverse a Minnesota State High School League policy that allows transgender athletes to play on the team of their choice.  The deal will add two percent to the per pupil funding formula for each of the next two years.

Dayton will need to call lawmakers back to St. Paul soon to revisit the three budget bills he vetoed last month. In addition to education, he rejected finance bills for agriculture/environment and jobs/energy. In the negotiations on the Agriculture/Environment bill, Dayton conceded on abolishment of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens’ Board. However, the Governor said he wants changes to clean water language. On another issue, the Governor signed the State Government Finance bill accepting a provision allowing counties’ use of private auditors. Now he wants lawmakers to retain the State Auditor’s exclusive oversight of county financial records.

Dayton said he will insist that all Minnesota legislative leaders sign off on the agreement before he calls a Special Session and Dayton late yesterday afternoon yielded no resolution on the budget. It is still not known when the Special Session will be called.

In the meantime, the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees have scheduled a joint hearing for Friday afternoon to do a walk-through of the revised budget bills on which there is agreement. A large group of bipartisan rank and file members are urging Governor Dayton and legislative leaders to release the bills to the public at least 48 hours before acting on them.

Private vs. Public Audits

A provision in the State Government Finance bill, which Governor Dayton signed into law, would allow Minnesota counties to bypass the State Auditor and hire private-sector accountants to conduct annual financial reviews. Dayton, who once served as State Auditor, said this week that it is a Constitutional office and an unacceptable change. He wants lawmakers to repeal the provision as part of the anticipated Special Session.

Daudt, who once served as a county commissioner, said county government officials have been seeking this change for years as a way to trim costs. Cities and school districts already have the option of using private auditors. Julie Ring, Executive Director of the Association of Minnesota Counties, said members view it as an issue of fairness and competitiveness.

Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth) notes that 28 of the State’s 87 counties are already permitted to use private auditors. She says allowing counties to contract with private firms will save taxpayer money to be used for road repair or to hold the line on property taxes.  Anderson also says Dayton effectively agreed to the provision when he signed her State Government Budget bill that included the Auditor language. Dayton countered that he signed it to protect the jobs of thousands of state workers who could be laid off on July 1 if a budget deal isn’t reached.

Speaker Daudt said House Republicans are inclined to make a technical fix to the bill but are not likely to eliminate the change entirely. He said giving counties an option is a priority for his caucus.

State Auditor Rebecca Otto said she’s considering filing a lawsuit to argue that the Legislature overstepped its authority by infringing on the rights of a Constitutional officer.

Bonding Bill

Legislative leaders have reached an agreement on a bonding bill to be considered during the upcoming Special Session. The bill would authorize $373 million in bonding for several projects, including transportation bonds for rerouting Highway 53 on the Iron Range. It includes nearly $180 million in general obligation bonding money for projects including finishing the state Capitol renovation and building animal testing labs in St. Paul and Willmar prompted by the recent outbreak of Avian flu. The bill also includes funding for disaster relief in Scott County and several other counties.

A 60% supermajority is needed to pass bonding bills. In the House, Republicans need at least nine Democratic votes to pass the bill, but Rep. Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) said they may need additional DFL support because he doesn’t expect unanimous Republican support.

Senate Capital Investment Chair LeRoy Stumpf (DFL-Plummer) said the plan does not include a parking garage underneath the Capitol, a provision that had been included in the bill passed by the Senate on the final night of session.

Pipeline Concerns

This week, the Mille Lacs and White Earth Ojibwe bands are holding their own public hearings on plans for the Sandpiper line, a $2.6 billion pipeline that would pump North Dakota crude 300 miles across Minnesota to its terminal in Superior, Wis., and eventually to refineries around the Great Lakes. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) is about to hand down a major ruling on the project.

While the route preferred by Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Energy does not cross any tribal reservations, it does cross a large area of lakes and forests in northern Minnesota where treaties give tribes the right to hunt, fish and gather. Tribal members say they are especially concerned about potential impacts on their right to gather wild rice.

Additionally, the Friends of the Headwaters group contend that the risk of a spill in those areas is too significant. The group suggested several alternative routes, one of which was endorsed by experts from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Natural Resources. However, Enbridge argued the other routes were unworkable because they would not connect to its terminals in Clearbrook and Superior.

Public hearings on the need for Sandpiper were held in Duluth, Bemidji and other cities, but not on any reservations. The White Earth Band asked for one, but the MPUC declined saying the tribal voices have had a chance to be heard in written comments.

The MPUC is scheduled to decide on Sandpiper’s “certificate of need” today. Mille Lacs and White Earth leaders have asked the Commission to delay its decision until they submit reports from their hearings.

Even if the Commission rules the pipeline is needed, the MPUC would still have to approve a final route for the pipeline, a process that will require more public hearings, and according to the MPUC, more chances for tribal input.

Rate Hikes

Eight health insurance companies in Minnesota are proposing double-digit increases in average premiums, according to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Gov. Mark Dayton called the proposed rate increases “outrageous” given that the cost of health care is currently increasing at just three percent.

In Minnesota, 56% of people receive insurance through their employer, 30% through public programs, and individual and family coverage makes up six percent of the State’s total health insurance market.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) of Minnesota, for example, wants to raise rates an average of 54% on nine plans. Officials at BCBS say the company needs higher premiums to account for rapidly rising medical costs for individual and family plans. The company lost $135 million on its portfolio of individual products in 2014 and is on track to lose significantly more on those plans this year, they said.

Of the six insurance companies that reported 2014 operating results as part of their rate request, all but one paid out more in individual claims in 2014 than they collected in premiums. Some said their health plan members were sicker and needed more care than expected.

The federal Affordable Care Act requires early disclosure of rate requests of 10% or more. Those that seek to increase rates below that threshold are not required to disclose their plans.

Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) called the news of the proposed rate increases “another disheartening sign that Obamacare and MNsure are not working for Minnesotans.”

Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman promised a thorough review of the rate increase proposals to determine whether they are justified. The 2016 individual market rates will be finalized by October 1.