A report this month from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 55 percent of Minnesotans in Medicare get their benefits through private health plans -- the highest share of any state.

Private insurers have had a big piece of Minnesota's Medicare market for a long time, and it grew from 53 percent in 2015.

Among Medicare health plans that include prescription drug benefits, the weighted average for premiums in Minnesota is $138 per month. That's the highest rate in the nation, and stems in part from the fact that most Minnesota plans are "Medicare Cost" plans rather than the "Medicare Advantage" plans found in most states.

The study notes: "In Minnesota, 69 percent of private plan enrollment is in cost plans, which have higher average premiums than Medicare Advantage plans."

Among health insurers, Minnetonka-based UnitedHealthcare has the largest market share with 21 percent of all enrollees in Medicare Advantage plans. Kentucky-based Humana comes in second with a share of 18 percent, according to the report.

Kaiser says the biggest three insurers selling Medicare health plans within Minnesota are: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (39 percent); Medica (25 percent); and UCare (18 percent).

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