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About those MNsure weighted rate increases

The weighted average assumes that people will renew the same policy they chose last year.

Republicans have latched onto this idea of MNsure rates being calculated by a “weighted average.”

Let’s examine that.

The weighted average assumes that the same people will renew the same policy they chose last year. If Policy A is chosen by 10 times more people than Policy B, then the increase in Policy A is more relevant.

Here is the problem with that.

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The MNsure exchange is a marketplace. If the policy holder thinks that the increase in premium is unwarranted, they can shop for a new policy at a different price. The number of people renewing policies could be completely different.

So the weighted averages would then be meaningless.

Sure, you can calculate a hypothetical number from that scenario and yes, it could be valid. But using a straight average like the Commerce Department did also has merit and is just as valid a number.

Also, let me address this idea that the administration “coerced” lower rates from the insurance carriers.

Well, I sure as hell hope they did.

You have regulators for a reason. Utility rates are always subject to intervention by the utility commission. They affect the final rates. The ACA also has regulators watching insurance rates — I’m not sure they have the regulatory power that the utility regulators have, but there job is oversight on rates that gouge.

They should be offering their opinions on rates and pointing out problem areas. 

That is the whole idea in keeping rates affordable.

I know it is important and desperate for the MN GOP to keep attacking MNSure — after all, they have virtually nothing else of actual relevance to attack, but it is a convoluted one at best.

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This post was written by Dave Mindeman and originally published on mnpACT! Progressive Political Blog. Follow Dave on Twitter: @newtbuster.

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