Who Is the Marketplace for?
MNsure is Minnesota's Marketplace for health insurance, where you can shop for and buy insurance in person, online, or by phone. The Marketplace is run by the state government. The Marketplace, also called an Exchange, is mainly for people who:
- Don’t have insurance
- Aren’t insured by their employer
- Aren’t included in their spouse’s employer insurance
- Have pre-existing conditions and may have had trouble getting insurance before
- Have private insurance but want something less expensive
- Own a small business
The Affordable Care Act requires that most Americans have health insurance starting in 2014. Medicare is a different program. If you are on Medicare, you don’t need to buy insurance through the Marketplace.
When You Can Enroll: From Oct. 1, 2013, to Mar. 31, 2014. Coverage will begin in 2014. If you want your coverage to start Jan. 1, 2014, you have to sign up by Dec. 15, 2013.
If you have a life-changing event – birth of a child, losing your job – you don’t have to wait for the enrollment period. You can sign up or change coverage within 60 days of the event.
Plans and Costs
Types of plans: All the insurance plans on the Marketplace are sold by private companies or co-ops. They can offer four types of coverage: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. These “metal level” plans all cover the same kinds of benefits in Minnesota. What differs is how much they pay on average toward the costs of healthcare services. Here’s how it works:
- Bronze Plan: You pay 40% and the plan pays 60%.
- Silver Plan: You pay 30% and the plan pays 70%.
- Gold Plan: You pay 20% and the plan pays 80%.
- Platinum Plan: You pay 10% and the plan pays 90%.
Low cost – or catastrophic – plans are available, especially for people who are under 30 and are healthy. These plans cost less up front, but they don’t give you as much coverage. They generally require you to pay more out-of-pocket costs.
Costs: Companies on the Marketplace can vary costs based on your age, where you live in the state, and your tobacco use. They cannot charge you more because of your sex or your health condition.
Minnesota is divided into 9 insurance rating regions. Rates vary by region, plan level and age. Here are sample monthly premiums in Region 8, which includes Minneapolis. Rates are for the lowest cost silver-level plan.
- Single, age 25 – $121
- Single, age 40 –$154
- Single, age 60 –$327
- Family of 4 -- $956
Minnesota allows insurance companies to charge tobacco users 50% more than non-tobacco users.
Who Is Selling Insurance in the Minnesota Marketplace? The companies that will offer coverage through the Marketplace are:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Group Health Inc.
- Medica of Wisconsin