“Today as you likely have heard, Minnesota Department of Commerce and MNsure officials released approved health insurance rates for 2015 and stated that the average rate increase in the exchange was 4.5%. It is important to point out that very few small businesses are in the exchange. It was reported that only an anemic 115 businesses and 475 total employees as of February and that many small businesses are receiving increases much higher, many close to 40% based on discussions with health insurance agents,” said State Director Mike Hickey. “We have even learned of a couple of dramatic increases in southeastern Minnesota: one of 135.4% and one of approximately 156%!”

“These large increases show the dramatic fallout of Obamacare and the financial pain and stress it is causing for many small businesses,” said Hickey. “Many small businesses avoided having to fully comply with Obamacare for 2014 by renewing early in 2013, but they are now feeling the full weight of the law.” Hickey noted the biggest reason for these large rate increases is the requirement that policies be community rated and the companies receiving these large increases were able to avoid that for 2014.

NFIB also expressed its extreme disappointment with the fact that Governor Dayton would not accept any of the waivers (for up to three years) that President Obama has offered the states. President Obama offered these waivers to ease the bumps in the road and the financial pain this law is causing and it is very disappointing that Governor Dayton would not accept these waivers.

Revision of Obamacare is inevitable and a three-year waiver may have bought enough time to help people make a transition into the new revised law and also save them a lot of money in insurance premiums. How many employees will lose coverage or will have their coverage significantly reduced due to the Governor’s opposition to accepting these waivers? NFIB’s national office continues to push for significant revisions to Obamacare and bipartisan support is growing.

Article by Mike Hickey, Minnesota Director, National Federation of Independent Business

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