This year and last, our state’s Premium Security Plan, also known as reinsurance, lowered premiums for people who buy their own health insurance.

That decrease was 20 percent, on average, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce,

That reduction was just what lawmakers had planned.

The only surprise is that it looks as if it will cost about half as much as expected. In the program’s first nine month just 31 percent of the available money was needed for medical bills. Of course, bills are still coming in for care people needed this past October, November and December, but the totals won’t come close to the $271 million appropriated at the start.

Policy makers should use any leftover money to continue to help people who buy their own insurance.

Here’s how it works and why policymakers need to keep it for now.