The methodology behind PoliGraph's MNsure analysis

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PoliGraph looked at how much more it would cost people to buy an entry-level plan on MNsure — the minimum people need to spend to avoid a fine — with the help of a subsidy. Read the full analysis.

Here's the methodology behind the analysis:

• The calculations take into account both premium rate increases and how federal tax subsidies reduce someone's monthly insurance payment from the sticker price. That provides a better idea of how much more MNsure participants are paying each month, not just how much more insurance companies are charging.

• Rate and dollar increases apply to the lowest cost plan, which is the minimum amount of coverage someone needs to buy to avoid a fine.

• In each test case, the calculations are based on the MNsure participant aging one year; a 30-year-old participating in the exchange in 2014 is 31 by the time she is buying insurance through MNsure in 2015.

• In each test case, the MNsure participant's income has increased two percent between 2014 and 2015, which tracks with salary data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

• Typically, it would make sense to weight each insurance plan's increase — but not in this case. That's because PreferredOne, the insurance company that insured 60 percent of MNsure's 2014 participants, is leaving the exchange. There's no way to tell whether people enrolled in those plans will keep them or choose a different plan offered through MNsure. But it's likely that people eligible for a tax subsidy will move to a different carrier because subsidies are available only to people who enroll in a health plan through MNsure.

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