A Tale of Two States - Why Wisconsin Premiums are Higher than Minnesota


On a media call today that included U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Citizen Action of Wisconsin released a new report documenting vast differences between Minnesota and Wisconsin in the cost for health insurance on the individual insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. Click here to hear the audio of the media call.

The report also compares health insurance individual market exchange rates for Wisconsin’s major metro areas, and reveals major differentials in cost.

The report, A Tale of Two States: Why Wisconsin’s Health Insurance Individual Marketplace Premiums are Dramatically Higher than Minnesota’s, shows that two critical decisions made differently in the two states explain a substantial portion of the rate disparity.  Download the full report

Key Findings

  • Wisconsin health insurance exchange premiums for single coverage will be on average 79% to 99% higher than premiums in Minnesota, before tax credits are applied. That is a difference of over $1,800 a year.

  •  The health insurance cost differential will be even worse for some major Wisconsin cities. Rates in La Crosse are 136% higher than the Minnesota average, rates in Eau Claire are 116% higher, and rates in Milwaukee are 112% higher.

  • Two key decisions in Wisconsin’s Affordable Care Act implementation play a substantial role in raising health insurance rates in Wisconsin relative to Minnesota: the decision to reject enhanced federal Medicaid dollars, and the decision not to implement rigorous review of health insurance rates.
  • Wisconsin has the opportunity to bring down rates by accepting enhanced federal Medicaid funds and using state powers such as reviewing and rejecting excessive rates to make health insurance more affordable.

  • Wisconsin’s rejection of a state-based exchange strip policymakers of additional tools for moderating health insurance rates.

  • The cost gap with Minnesota has the biggest impact on middle class Wisconsinites because Affordable Care Act tax credits mitigate the impact on lower income people who buy insurance on the exchange.

Read the full report

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