Oct. 1 marks the much anticipated launch of MNsure, the state’s new health insurance exchange. You may have recently seen ads and billboards featuring Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox talking about MNsure and encouraging Minnesotans to sign up for health insurance. That’s because under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), everyone is required to have healthcare insurance starting in 2014. Beginning Oct. 1, Minnesotans will have a new way to shop for health insurance coverage using MNsure, our state’s health insurance exchange.
Who can use MNsure to buy policies? Individuals who don’t have health insurance, Medicaid recipients and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees can use MNsure.
How does this affect Children’s patient families?
- If you currently have health insurance, you will likely see no change.
- If you are enrolled in Medicaid already, you will be automatically transferred into the exchange for the first year. You will need to re-enroll for Medicaid through the exchange the second year.
- If you do not have access to affordable coverage you can sign up for coverage through the exchange.
- Enrollment begins Oct. 1, 2013 for coverage that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
- Low-cost plans, financial assistance and tax credits are available for those who qualify.
- If you do not purchase health insurance you will be subject to a tax penalty.
Things to consider when picking your plan
- Costs (premiums and out-of-pocket): MNsure users will be able to choose from a number of different plans: bronze, silver, gold or platinum. The various levels are based on the percentage of costs that the plans will cover. Be sure to pick a plan that works best for you and your family.
- Access to health professionals: You will be able to look up your current pediatrician or provider on the MNsure website to ensure they participate in the plan you choose.
Children’s is here to help! Our financial counselors are being trained to help patients and families apply and enroll in health insurance through the exchange. They may also refer families to the MNsure Customer Service Center. Patient families can contact our financial counselors at the phone numbers listed below:
- Minneapolis: 612-813-6432
- St. Paul: 651-220-6367
The MNsure Customer Service Center: Customer contact specialists will be available to answer any questions online or through a toll-free number: 1-855-3-MNSURE (1-855-366-7873)
- Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Assistance will be available in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali. Additional interpreter services are offered in more than 140 languages.
You can also download and print a factsheet with this information.