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American Rescue Plan Update

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Update

Last week we announced the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The act includes important health care insurance provisions that will expand benefits available to Minnesota through MNsure.

One key change is a two-year enhancement to premium tax credits (PTCs) available to eligible individuals who qualify to purchase coverage through MNsure. The enhancements both increase the amount of PTCs available at all income levels and eliminate the 400 percent earnings of the federal poverty level (FPL).

What the act means for Minnesotans:

  • Those enrolled on the exchange and receiving tax credits will see increased savings.
  • Those enrolled on the exchange but not currently receiving tax credits might become eligible to receive them.
  • Those purchasing coverage directly from an insurance company rather than MNsure can cancel their policy and move to MNsure where they can receive tax credits.
  • Higher subsidies might make premiums more affordable for those who are uninsured.

Consumers must be enrolled in a plan through MNsure to qualify for the enhanced tax credits.

Kaiser Family Foundation has created a calculator to estimate eligibility for subsidies under the new American Rescue Plan Act. This is just an estimate but can help inform consumer decisions about enrolling in coverage.

MNsure will be sharing more details as soon as possible on an implementation timeline and additional information for assisters and consumers.

MNsure Changes

MNsure statement regarding federal changes to the Affordable Care Act

New policies set to improve affordability on Minnesota’s marketplace

ST. PAUL, Minn.—On Thursday, March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, which includes several key health care provisions to the Affordable Care Act that will expand benefits available to Minnesotans through MNsure. This includes an increase in the amount of tax credits MNsure enrollees receive to help them pay for their premiums and an expansion of tax credits to middle-income Minnesotans who previously fell outside income thresholds for financial help. This increase in benefits means Minnesotans who purchase health insurance through MNsure will be able to find a plan with premiums that cost no more than 8.5% of their household income.

“We welcome this great news, which will make health care coverage more affordable,” said MNsure CEO Nate Clark. “Every Minnesotan who currently receives tax credits through MNsure will see additional savings, and thousands more Minnesotans who weren’t eligible to receive financial help before will now be able to access tax credits that can significantly reduce the cost of their health insurance.”

Key takeaways:

  • Most people already enrolled through MNsure will see savings.
  • People enrolled through MNsure without federal premium tax credits may now be eligible.
  • Those currently enrolled in plans outside of MNsure can enroll through MNsure.org and take advantage of benefits.
  • Uninsured Minnesotans should consider these new cost savings.

These expanded tax credits will not be advanceable until later this year. This means enrollees will not immediately see any additional savings on their monthly premiums but can reconcile the savings when they file their taxes next year. Current MNsure enrollees will be eligible for a full year of savings, retroactive to their first month of coverage in 2021. The enhanced savings will be available in advance for the entire 2022 coverage year.

Additional information, including implementation details and timing, and a tool to estimate potential savings, are forthcoming on MNsure.org. Interested Minnesotans should sign up for MNsure’s eNews emails for updates.MNsure is Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace where individuals and families can shop, compare and choose health insurance coverage that meets their needs. MNsure is the only place you can apply for financial help to lower the cost of your monthly insurance premium and out-of-pocket costs. Most Minnesotans who enroll through MNsure qualify for financial help

MNsure Special Enrollment Period

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ST. PAUL, Minn..—Beginning Tuesday, February 16, MNsure will open a three-month special enrollment period to help any Minnesotan not currently enrolled through MNsure to secure health insurance coverage. This announcement follows the nationwide special enrollment period established by President Biden for those states who use healthcare.gov, the federally run health insurance marketplace. MNsure’s special enrollment period will run until Monday, May 17.

“If you are uninsured, or have coverage outside of MNsure, you can come to MNsure.org between February 16 and May 17 to enroll in a health insurance plan. COVID-19 is still with us, so having access to comprehensive health care coverage is critical at this time,” said MNsure CEO Nate Clark. “Not sure where to start? We have a statewide network of assisters who can help walk you through the process – just click on Find Free Help on our homepage.”

MNsure ran a similar special enrollment period for uninsured Minnesotans in March 2020 just after the start of the pandemic and enrolled nearly 10,000 Minnesotans into private health insurance coverage. In total, MNsure helped more than 24,500 Minnesotans secure health insurance coverage through a special enrollment period from the start of the pandemic through the end of 2020. Additionally, MNsure’s annual open enrollment period, which ended on December 22, 2020, saw an increased number of enrollments, nearly 20% of which were new to the marketplace.

This upcoming special enrollment period is another opportunity for uninsured Minnesotans, or those currently enrolled outside of MNsure, to sign up for comprehensive health care coverage. Eligible Minnesotans can also take advantage of cost-saving benefits available only through MNsure. Those who enroll during this time will have coverage that begins on the first day of the month following their sign-up date. For example, Minnesotans who sign-up for coverage in February will have a March 1 start date. Those who sign up in March will have coverage starting on April 1, and so on.

Please note: Minnesotans currently enrolled in health insurance coverage outside of MNsure should confirm their coverage options through MNsure before making changes to their current coverage.

Getting started

  • Compare plans side by side using MNsure’s plan comparison tool. Get estimates on premium costs, deductibles and more. Minnesotans can also use the tool to see if they qualify for financial help. Nearly half of current MNsure enrollees are receiving tax credits to lower the cost of their premiums, averaging almost $5,000 a year.
  • Set up a free appointment with a MNsure-certified assister. Virtual meeting options are available.

Year-round enrollment opportunities

In addition to this three-month special enrollment period, Minnesotans who experience a qualifying life event such as a loss of employer health insuranceloss of employer COBRA premium subsidy or decrease in income, may be eligible for a special enrollment period. These enrollment opportunities are available year-round to those who qualify. Minnesotans who qualify for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare or are a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe can enroll any time of year. For Minnesotans new to MNsure, please find additional resources below:

MNsure is Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace where individuals and families can shop, compare and choose health insurance coverage that meets their needs. MNsure is the only place you can apply for financial help to lower the cost of your monthly insurance premium and out-of-pocket costs. Most Minnesotans who enroll through MNsure qualify for financial help.

Source: https://www.mnsure.org/news-room/news/