ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) —Thousands of Minnesotans are being notified that their health care premiums are going up -- in some cases, way up.
One WCCO viewer sent a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield saying his monthly premium was increasing by $400, making his monthly bill more than $1,100 for himself and two children.
The state Department of Commerce just approved rate hikes for many private insurers.
Those rate increases also affect policies available through MNsure, where operators were busy fielding phone calls today.
The exchange is heading into its third round of open enrollment with more call center staff. Interim Chief Executive Officer Allison O'Toole said Wednesday they're already receiving calls from consumers worried about double-digit premium hikes for next year.
O'Toole expects those rate increases to drive more business to MNsure after two years of lackluster enrollment. The exchange is touting tax credits to help soothe sticker shock.
Call center operations manager Steve Minikel says they've hired about 25 more employees since last year to help answer questions.
MNsure is also launching a new tool sometime next week that will help consumers compare insurance plan deductibles, co-pays and other costs.
Nov. 1 marks the start of the open enrollment period for MNsure. That enrollment period ends on Jan. 31.
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