The average monthly subsidy for next year is coming in at
Minnesotans were expected to receive more subsidy money for 2017, since premiums in the state's individual market are increasing by an average of at least 50 percent. Just as benchmark premiums next year in the state's individual market will exceed the national average, Minnesotans will be more likely to get a big subsidy, too.
"The significant premium increases have been such a shock to everyone, but this is news that helps offset that," said
The tax credits are made available by the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires almost all Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The future of the subsidies, along with the health law itself, is uncertain.
"We know that the president-elect and this
The federal health law called for the creation of new state-level online marketplaces like MNsure, where consumers could pick a health plan and qualify for tax credits.
The subsidies are available only in the individual market, where about 250,000 Minnesotans buy coverage. It's the health insurance market for people who are self-employed or don't get coverage from an employer or government program such as
Subsidies are available to those who enroll through MNsure depending on their income. Individuals who earn up to
In September, state regulators granted big rate increases to health insurers that have been losing money in the individual market. The state
With the premium increases, benchmark rates in
The benchmark premium for a 40-year-old in
"The new rates are jarring," said
Since major health law reforms kicked in during 2014, Minnesotans have been less likely than peers in other states to obtain tax credits because premiums here started out so low. In addition, a lot of people who get the subsidies in other states are covered here by the MinnesotaCare program, which taps federal Affordable Care Act dollars in a different way.
During the open enrollment period that started
Big premium jumps for 2017 prompted DFL Gov.
Tax credits in the health law are financed through a series of new taxes plus spending cuts, particularly to health care providers in the federal
The plan from
Whereas tax credits under the ACA are limited to people at certain income levels, Corlette said there would be no such limits under some Republican plans where "you could be a millionaire and you would get the same tax credit as somebody who is right above the poverty line."
"In the ACA," she said, "the subsidy that you get is more generous the more lower-income that you are."
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