New Report: Wisconsinites Pay Thousands More On Average for Health Insurance Than Minnesotans

Report finds consumer premiums and out of pocket costs much larger and rising in Wisconsin, costs vary widely by region in both states.

STATEWIDE: On a media call today Citizen Action of Wisconsin was joined by Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach, Wisconsin State Representative Debra Kolste, and Minnesota State Representative Jennifer Schultz to release a new report on comparative health insurance costs in Wisconsin and Minnesota. An audio recording is available here.

The “Tale of Two States 2016” report documents total healthcare cost - premiums and deductibles - variations between Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as the major metropolitan areas in both states. For the first time the report shows both monthly premiums and deductibles to reveal the total costs consumers face.

Key Findings

  • For the most common Silver plan Wisconsin consumers pay 47% more annually in premiums and deductibles than Minnesota consumers.

  • By focusing exclusively on premiums, many media stories missed the fact that deductibles were stable in Minnesota, are increasing by 46% on average in Wisconsin for 2016.

  • For metro areas, the second lowest cost silver plan total cost to consumers range from 13% to 91% higher in Wisconsin, compared to the average cost in Minnesota.

  • These percentage differences translate into $737 - $5,207 more per person per year in premiums and deductibles in Wisconsin depending on geography.

Figure 1: Statewide weighted average of most common plan, annual premiums plus deductibles. 2016 vs 2015




Percent higher in Wisconsin









Annual inflation




Analysis of annual cost of 2nd lowest cost plan for a 40 year old applicant without children or tax credits. Number shows 12 months of premiums plus plan deductible. Numbers are weighted by population density.

Figure 2: Most common plan for 40 year old by Minnesota metro, annual premiums plus deductibles, 2016 vs 2015. See full report

Figure 3: Higher Costs to Consumers by Wisconsin Metros compared to Minnesota average, 2016, annual premiums and deductibles.


Additional Percent Consumer in Metro will Pay Annually Compared to Average Minnesotan

Extra Annual Cost Consumers Will See Compared to Equivalent Average Minnesotan

Statewide average






Stevens Point



Wis Rapids/Marshfield









Green Bay















La Crosse






Fond du Lac












Eau Claire












Analysis of annual cost of 2nd lowest cost plan for a 40 year old applicant without children or tax credits. Number shows 12 months of premiums plus plan deductible.

Figure 4: Total consumer cost by Wisconsin Metro, monthly and annually, 2016 See full report

Figure 5: Analysis of Wisconsin/Minnesota Border Cities cost average, 2016, annual premiums and deductibles


Percent Higher in Wisconsin City Compared to Minnesota City

Extra Annual Cost Consumers Will See in Wisconsin city vs Minnesota border city

La Crosse, WI vs Winona, MN


+ $1,827

Superior, WI vs Duluth, MN


+ $2,012

Hudson, WI vs Stillwater, MN


+ $1,982

Analysis of annual cost of 2nd lowest cost plan for a 40 year old applicant without children or tax credits. Number shows 12 months of premiums plus plan deductible.

Figure 6: Analysis of Wisconsin/Minnesota costs to consumers at different income levels, annual premiums plus deductibles, 2016. See full report

“These new numbers are further proof that states like Wisconsin which are obstructing the health care law fair worse than those like Minnesota who are moving forward to improve the health care system and address high insurance costs,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Governor Walker and the Legislature’s insistence on wasting time and money trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act, rather than working together to tackle cost is proving costly for Wisconsin health consumers.”

"I think the citizens of Wisconsin want legislators to support policies that are going to protect some of their hard earned money," said State Representative Debra Kolste (D-Janesville). "I'm someone who believes that we don't know the cost of healthcare anymore, we only know what people are being charged. It is absolutely the state's responsibility to look at health insurance rates and do an aggressive review."

"The high cost of health insurance is just not sustainable in either Minnesota or Wisconsin," said Minnesota State Representative Jennifer Schultz (DFL-Duluth). "Our state ensured junk policies can't be sold, and audited our health plans in Minnesota to root out unnecessary costs."

"Republicans need to accept that the Affordable Care Act is the law," said State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton). "Rather than working to make health insurance better and more affordable Governor Walker has put up roadblocks and done whatever he can to try to make sure the Affordable Care Act fails to achieve its goals".

The full report can be viewed here 

 Media Contacts

Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324,

Kevin Kane (414) 550 8280,



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  • commented 2015-11-12 14:31:52 -0600
    Give thanks to Walker for the difference in health care cost between Minnesota and Wisconsin, just add it to the list of his failures in moving the State forward.