MINNEAPOLIS -- Regulators are making a last-ditch push to recruit more health plans to the MNsure exchange for 2017, particularly insurers willing to sell coverage outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Open enrollment for 2017 health plans is less than three months away. The request suggests significant concern about a lack of competition in the individual market, where there already are fears that premiums could spike next year as carriers scale back their offerings.

Regulators this week asked interested parties to propose waivers of state laws or rules that would allow them to newly offer coverage to residents outside the seven-county metro area. Insurers are being asked to provide at least one health plan option that could be sold through MNsure in one or more counties.