Competition is helping to hold medical insurance prices down in the Badger State, officials say.

The Wisconsin insurance commissioner’s office says average health insurance rates fell 1% between July 2006 and July 2007 for individual plan members working at employers with 75 employees in Milwaukee, and rates fell 3% over that period for individuals working at Milwaukee companies with 25 employees.

Rates were up 1.7% for individuals at 75-employee companies in the Wisconsin Rapids market, but they were down 0.5% for individuals at 25-employee Wisconsin Rapids companies, regulators report.

Average rate changes for family coverage ranged from a 2.5% increase for 75-employee Wisconsin Rapids companies to a 3.1% decrease for 25-employee Milwaukee companies.