Minnesotans could see their Obamacare rates drop by up to 40 percent for some plans if a program to cover the sickest claims for insurers is approved by the Trump administration, the state's insurance regulator said Monday.
On the other hand, if the program doesn't receive federal approval, it could raise premiums by roughly 30 percent for some plans.
Minnesota passed a law that subsidizes insurers' sickest claims through a process called reinsurance. That in turn lets insurers reduce claims for everyone else.
Democrats are calling for a nationwide reinsurance program to stabilize all of Obamacare's exchanges. Some Republicans are aiming to work with Democrats after the Senate failed to pass legislation repealing Obamacare last week.
Several states have turned to reinsurance as a way to fix problems on their Obamacare exchanges. The Trump administration approved a waiver from Alaska to create a reinsurance program earlier this year.
Minnesota has a waiver application before the federal government for the reinsurance program, which would cost the state nearly $600 million up front for 2018.
Minnesota's insurance commissioner said rates for all of the five insurance companies selling Obamacare plans would be lower in 2018 compared to current rates, if the reinsurance program is approved.
The price drop would differ among plans. For instance, PreferredOne would lower rates by up to 40 percent, and Group Health by about 14 percent.
Some insurers would raise rates under reinsurance. Blue Plus would raise rates by 11 percent or decrease them by 1.5 percent.
Medica could raise rates by roughly 5 percent or decrease them by 5 percent.
Without reinsurance, four of the five insurance companies would raise rates. PreferredOne would lower rates, but only up to 25 percent.
The rate hikes would be steeper for some plans. For example, under reinsurance, Blue Plus could raise rates up to 11 percent. But without resinurance, it would raise them as much as 31 percent.
Final rates are due by Oct. 2.