Wisconsin Health Insurance Premiums Will Likely Stay Higher Than Minnesota’s In 2015

Reports Find Wisconsin's Rates Could Increase By 3 Percent Over Next Year

Minnesota's online exchange in run by the state, whereas Wisconsin's is run federally. Photo: Erik Lorenzson/WPR.

A new report suggests that health insurance premiums will continue to be higher in Wisconsin than in Minnesota in 2015.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin found that people purchasing health insurance this year through the federal marketplace in Wisconsin were paying more for coverage than people in Minnesota’s state-based exchange. The group argues that will likely be the case next year, too.

Minnesota released its rates for 2015 plans. The final rates in Wisconsin likely will not be available until Nov. 15, when open enrollment begins.

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Reports suggest Wisconsin’s rates could increase an average of almost 3 percent, but that could vary by region.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Executive Director Robert Kraig said the disparities stem from the way the two states have approached implementing the Affordable Care Act.

“In Minnesota, they’ve embraced the law,” he said. “They’ve not only taken the Medicaid expansion for their state’s Medicaid program, which Wisconsin rejected — they have actually gone up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level which is an option in the law.”

BadgerCare, Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, covers people up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

Kraig also said Minnesota has rigorously reviewed insurance company rates which has kept costs down in the state.

A spokesman for the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance said he did not want to comment on what he considers an invalid comparison of the states.