Major hikes expected as state releases 2016 insurance rates

State officials and thousands of Minnesota residents are bracing for big increases to health insurance rates next year.

The state is expected on Thursday to release rate increases for companies selling insurance to hundreds of thousands of residents in the individual market in 2016. That includes policies sold on MNsure.

Most companies have proposed increases of more than 20 percent. Blue Cross Blue Shield, the largest insurer in the individual market, has asked for a hike of more than 50 percent.

The higher rates could prompt sticker shock for consumers and will likely renew debate about MNsure's viability.

Gov. Mark Dayton says he's not pleased with the prospect of a hefty increase. He says it's up to insurers to explain why those hikes are justified.

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