By Esme Murphy

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Thursday that he is welcoming all suggestions on how make the Affordable Care Act more affordable.

For the second day in a row, the governor said something needs to be done.

It’s not just people buying insurance through the state’s MNsure program that are seeing higher rates. Anyone buying individual or family plans are seeing big increases.

The Buck family of Goodhue County is facing an increase that would mean they would pay $40,000 in monthly premiums next year for their family of four.

“We’re not the only ones who are in this boat,” Ann Buck said. “It’s other farmers and those who are self-employed.”

Ann and David Buck have owned a dairy farm for more than two decades. This year, their monthly health insurance premiums for their family of four are $1,650 a month and their deductible is $13,000.

The family just learned their 2017 premium will jump to $3,300 a month. While the deductible will remain at $13,000, they will have a more limited choice of doctors.

“It’s insane,” David Buck said. “It can’t go on.”

The hikes are disproportionately affecting people in rural areas and in southeastern Minnesota, where there is less competition among insurers.

“If we moved to Dakota County, we would pay $1,000 less a month,” Ann Buck said.

The Bucks hope Dayton and the Legislature will do something to help.

On Thursday, the governor said one option might be a special session after Election Day.

“We are looking at what we can do in a special session that could provide immediate assistance to people who are burdened by these cost increases for next year,” Dayton said.

A solution, if there is one, needs to happen fast. Under MNsure, the open enrollment period is about to open and you need to be enrolled by Dec. 15.

The Bucks are among the many families and individuals who have too much income to qualify for the MNsure tax breaks, which cuts off at $47,000 per individual or $97,000 for a family of four.

Esme Murphy

Comments (11)
  1. Fred says:

    Can’t do a special session. Dayton has already said it is too close to the election. Democrats own this mess and it was obvious from the onset that it would implode in a few years. Can the government make you pay for something you can’t afford? Sounds like a good supreme court challenge to me.

  2. Hey Dayton where’s the line I need to be in to become an illegal immigrant so i can get free health insurance

  3. Jackie says:

    We’re drowning here!

  4. F U K ESME! says:

    Holy chet Esme! You are on ugly s o n of abi t ch! No wonder WCCZREO is at the bottom!

    Eat chet liberals!

  5. Liberal Lies says:

    Wow! The liberals are awfully quiet on this subject but would be all over if there were a Trump article

  6. Rob says:

    If Obama-Care was a horse, you would take it out behind the barn and shoot it.

    Hillary will make it worse.
    Trump will repeal it.

  7. Bud Smith says:

    Dayton, you said the MNSURE buck stops with you. You own it! It failed.

    We await your RESIGNATION!!!

  8. Deb Jans says:

    Self-employed persons are going to have to choose between insurance and eating, Sounds like the welfare lines will get even longer…not what we want..we are being forced into it!! You are going to bankrupt most farmers..not a good idea!!

  9. Malthus says:

    1 percent of the insured are consuming 90 percent of the resources.

    The government should never have gotten involved in this tar baby.

    Repeal Obama-Care, or it will drag us into a depression.