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Health insurance rates likely to increase in Minn.

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Minnesota's health insurers submit their proposed premium rates to the state next month, and those rates are likely to be higher than last year.  

But those rate hikes aren't necessarily what consumers will see when open enrollment begins in mid-November.

Just because insurers ask to raise prices doesn't mean the state commerce commissioner will approve them, said Julie Brunner, executive director of Minnesota's Council of Health Plans. 

She said one reason to raise them is an influx of new, sicker policyholders.

  "We have a lot of people that we believe have gained insurance under the Affordable Care Act who may not have had insurance before; may not have been keeping up with or taking care of chronic conditions and so forth," she said.

Minnesota's commerce commissioner must approve any insurance rate hikes in Minnesota. Typically those rates become public once open enrollment begins, which is slated for November 15.

The state's online health plan marketplace raised it's rates because it must be largely self-sustaining next year.  

"The MNsure board voted to increase the premium tax from 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent.  So we can expect that there would be some increase just based on that," Brunner said.