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PreferredOne says it’s pulling out of MNsure for business reasons

PreferredOne reportedly had the lowest costs and most customers of all the providers in the first year of the state’s health exchange. 

PreferredOne Health Insurance — which had the lowest costs and most customers of all the insurance companies in MNsure’s first year  — says it won’t participate in the state’s health care exchange next year.

A spokesman for PreferredOne, which is based in Golden Valley, told KSTP news that the withdrawal from MNsure is “purely a business decision,” and that continuing in the state’s exchange was “not administratively and financially sustainable going forward.”

The company’s withdrawal will have political ramifications on this November’s election, as Gov. Mark Dayton has been a big MNsure supporter, despite its rocky rollout.

State Republicans wasted no time in weighing in on the matter:

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“Earlier this year, Gov. Dayton promised Minnesotans ‘we’re going to make this better.’ My question to Governor Dayton is: when? How long do Minnesotans have to wait?” said a statement from House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt.

Those who signed up with Preferred One last year through MNsure for coverage in 2014 can still renew for next year, but they will not be eligible for the federal health insurance subsidies.

A PreferredOne statement said: “Our MNsure individual product membership is only a small percentage of the entire PreferredOne enrollment but is taking a significant amount of our resources to support administratively. We feel continuing on MNsure was not sustainable and believe this is an important step to best serve all PreferredOne members.”

KSTP said that, as of Aug. 6, PreferredOne had 59 percent of the individual market MNsure enrollees, with Blue Cross Blue Shield at 23 percent. HealthPartners, Medica and UCare had smaller shares.

Rates for those companies continuing with MNsure next year won’t be announced until next month, but are expected to rise.