MNsure has specific periods for when you can enroll in health insurance called “open enrollment”. Let’s review some features of MNsure, then look at how and when you can apply during the open enrollment period.
What is MNsure?
MNsure is a health insurance marketplace for individuals and families that live in Minnesota. It allows for residents to apply for financial help for their health coverage. Some of the features of MNsure include:
- Ability to compare health insurance plans from different health insurance companies
- Eligibility tools for financial help
- Free help from navigators
- Telephonic support from representatives
All of these resources come free for those looking to purchase a plan from MNsure.
Who can use MNsure?
Any residents in the state of Minnesota that are legal citizens can purchase health insurance through MNsure. The website is designed for those that aren’t offered health insurance through their employer, are self-employed, or otherwise are looking for health insurance that supports a lower income.
When is MNsure open enrollment in 2021?
MNsure open enrollment in 2022 begins November 1st, 2021 and ends December 15th, 2021.
The open enrollment period is for health insurance plans that become effective January 1st, 2022.
What if I miss MNsure open enrollment?
If you miss open enrollment, you may still qualify to sign up for health insurance through a special enrollment period. There are a handful of situations that allow for special enrollment, some of which include:
- Moving to Minnesota
- Marriage, divorce, or death
- Loss of health insurance coverage and/or COBRA
- Birth or adoption
Year-round enrollment is also available to those that belong to an American Indian tribe or those that qualify for Minnesota’s Medicaid program, Medical Assistance.
How to pick the right MNsure plan during open enrollment
There are a few terms you need to know before you pick a plan. The first of which is the monthly premium. Premiums are the amount you pay each month for the health insurance plan that you buy. This amount stays the same regardless of whether or not you get sick.
The next term you should know is deductible. The deductible is the amount of money that you pay out of pocket before your insurance plan starts paying for expenses.
A high-deductible plan will have lower monthly premiums, but be more costly when you actually get sick or injured. A PPO or HMO plan will have higher monthly premiums, but cost less when you need healthcare.
MNsure copays, deductibles, and out of pocket maximums
Copays are a fixed dollar amount you have to pay for specific services. An example of this might be a $25 copay to see a specialist. Unfortunately, these do not count towards your deductible. Coinsurance is the percentage amount that the insurance plan pays once you have met your deductible. This amount is generally 80% of expenses covered by insurance.
Out of pocket max is the amount you can pay out of pocket in a given plan year. After you meet your out of pocket max, the insurance company pays 100% of qualifying expenses.
How to budget for health expenses during open enrollment
My recommendation is to always have enough cash set aside to cover your out of pocket maximum. This ensures that regardless of what medical bills you face in a given year, you can cover your total responsibility without going into debt.