• Insurance carriers can no longer deny health insurance to you if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
• Insurance carriers must charge the same premium to men and women of the same age living in the same geographic area.
• Insurance carriers are only allowed to charge more for insurance based on age, tobacco use, and the cost of medical services in the area where you live.
• Insurance carriers must include a wide range of preventive medical services, and they must pay 100% of the bill for covered preventive services.
• Insurance carriers must cover maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health, plus dental and eye care for children.
• Health insurance exchanges were introduced in October 2013.
On an exchange website, you can explore many insurance options to fit unique needs. You can apply for insurance online or request hands-on assistance from a licensed health insurance agent.
Individuals who are:
• Without employer-paid health insurance.
• At any income level.
• Dependents of an employed person, but who do not receive or cannot afford employer-provided insurance.
• Beneficiaries with expensive COBRA continuation insurance.
• Up to 50 employees.
• More than 50 employees. (Ask us how INSUReasy.net can work for large employers who prefer fully-insured health plans.)
• A tax credit calculator for you to see if you qualify for government tax credits to help in paying insurance premiums, and if so, how much. This is done without entering private information.
• Several filters, helping you to customize the insurance plan to meet your needs. These filter for specific insurance companies, provider networks, and benefit levels.
• Direct links to allow a search for specific prescriptions and physicians.
• Access to an experienced, licensed insurance agent to provide advice – at no cost to you.
Who qualifies for tax credits and other assistance to help pay the cost of health insurance premiums?
Before using MNsure, however, click here to use a simple calculator – it does not require personal information. Then if you believe it may be valuable to try for a government subsidy, contact one of our licensed insurance agents to assist you going forward.
Depending on your household income, you may qualify for:
• Premium tax credits. Available immediately if you qualify, the government will pay a portion of your monthly insurance premium. The greater your income, the lower the tax credit.
• Medical Assistance (M.A.). M.A. is a health plan for low-income individuals and families. M.A. enrollees do not pay monthly premiums.
• MinnesotaCare. MinnesotaCare enrollees pay a very low monthly premium. The premium increases slightly as income increases, but is lower than premiums paid by individuals who otherwise qualify for tax subsidies.
• Children’s’ Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP provides premium assistance under MinnesotaCare for children in homes with income at 275% above the federal poverty guideline income. In some cases, children can qualify for CHIP even though parents do not qualify for MinnesotaCare.
For those not insured during 2016 the tax penalties will be the greater of:
- 2.5% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a bronze plan.
- $695 per adult for the year ($347.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $2,085.
For 2017 coverage, the open enrollment period is November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. Prior to and after those dates, you will not be allowed to purchase health insurance, except for certain life events, such as:
• Getting married.
• Having, adopting, or placement of a child.
• Permanently moving to a new area that offers different health plan options.
• Losing other health coverage (for example due to a job loss, divorce, loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, expiration of COBRA coverage).
Note: Voluntarily quitting other health coverage or being terminated for not paying your premiums are not considered loss of coverage.