MNsure plans have highest deductibles of 15 states, lowest premiums in U.S.

The health plans offered on Minnesota's online insurance marketplace have the highest deductibles of those in 15 states, according to a new study.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Breakaway Policy Strategies consultancy determined the average annual deductible for a MNsure plan - the amount consumers must pay before a plan pays for a medical expense -- was $4,061. That's more than twice the deductible for a comparable plan in Massachusetts or Maine.

It is key reason why MNsure plans also have the lowest premium rates in the United States.

The plans in Minnesota's individual market have carried high deductibles for many years, said Julie Sonier, deputy director of the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota.

"It's not like people are suddenly going to have higher deductibles than they used to," she said. "I think, though. it's a part of the conversation about variation across states in premiums."

She said the most recent data, from 2009, show more than half of policyholders had deductibles above $3,000.

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