MNsure can produce good outcomes — and big savings
A lot has been written about the negatives of MNsure, the state-run health insurance exchange, but I can relate one example of a positive outcome.
I am self-employed, and my wife is retired. Before this year, we've been paying very high health insurance premiums for high-deductible policies. I've recently reached Medicare eligibility age, so I'll only cite my wife's situation.
She's younger than 65 and was buying insurance in the open market, most recently at $788 per month with a $3,950 deductible. With MNsure, her premium has dropped to $309 with a $3,000 deductible and with more provider choices — an annual savings exceeding $5,700.
The enrollment process was a bit challenging but not much worse than many online sign-ups. The policy selection menu was fairly straightforward with an adequate variety of choices. It did take several attempts to get to the finish line because of the website stalling out, but it was worth the effort.
In summary, she could have kept her prior policy. The MNsure policy choices were adequate, and the price was considerably lower. We'll see how the administrative and data privacy aspects pan out.
I would encourage others without coverage, or with costly policies, not to be discouraged by the negative publicity and see if they can also benefit from MNsure. Open enrollment ends March 31.