The Patient Protection and Affordable Care ACT 2010, also known as The Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, is America’s new health care reform law.
The Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
The new law ensures:
- Insurance companies can’t deny coverage or charge more for people with preexisting conditions.
- Insurance companies can no longer deny you for any reason other than fraud.
- Insurance companies can’t put lifetime or annual dollar limits on Essential Health Benefits.
- Plans cover free wellness and preventive services.
- Subsidies are available for those who qualify.
The official ObamaCare enrollment period ended on March 31, 2014. Important Notice: Its urgent, to avoid future fines and penalties, to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act.
Minnesota Individuals & Families: Find out the most cost efficient healthcare insurance for you.
The Marketplace, also known as “Exchange,” is a state’s price comparison website for subsidized health insurance.
Each state has its own Marketplace. In Minnesota you can access yours at MNsure.org
The Health Insurance Marketplace makes it easy to compare plans, find out if you are eligible for lower costs, and enroll.
Health Insurance plans are divided in metallic tiers.
- Platinum plans have the highest premiums, but the lowest co-pays and deductibles.
- Gold and Silver plans have lower premiums, but higher co-pays and deductibles.
- Bronze plans have the lowest premiums, but the highest co-pays and deductibles.
There are also Catastrophic Plans available (plans for individuals under 30) that consist of the following:
- High deductibles
- Essential benefits
- More affordable prices
The Marketplace in Minnesota also offers dental plans for children and families.
There is an extensive list of provider networks that offer individual/family plans, but they are subject to change. You should contact your insurer directly.
You can check provider networks at MN Sure’s official state website.
What if I can’t afford coverage?
You may qualify for MA or MinnesotaCare, or for a tax credit and payment assistance to lower your cost.
Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare
Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare are health care programs for low-income residents (children and parents, adults without children, people with disabilities and seniors) who fall within the Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP).
If you qualify for MA or MinnesotaCare, you will be able to get medical services at little cost to you.
Medical Assistance does not have a premium (monthly fee). Members do have small co-pays for some services, usually $1 – $3. This is called cost sharing.
MinnesotaCare does have a premium (monthly fee), based on your income, and small co-pays.
- Individuals with annual incomes of up to $15,282 qualify for MA
- All children and pregnant women up to 275 % of the federal poverty level are eligible for MA
- Individuals with annual incomes of $15,282 to $22,980 qualify for MinnesotaCare.
You can find more information about cost sharing and what MHCP covers by visiting the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange.
Individuals with annual incomes of $22,981 to $45,960 qualify for tax credits that can be used immediately to lower your premiums.
The amount of tax credit available to individuals and families depends on modified adjusted gross income, age and geographic area. * For most taxpayers, the household Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) is the same as Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) which can be found on Line 4 on a Form 1040EZ, Line 21 on a Form 1040A, or Line 37 on a Form 1040.
Premium assistance is calculated based on where an individual’s annual income falls on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) table. To check table please visit the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange.
If you qualify for the tax credit, you can choose:
- In advance to reduce your health care plan costs each month (You can begin receiving the tax credit when your coverage becomes effective).
- Apply for it when you file your federal tax return.
You may also qualify for extra savings through cost-sharing assistance. This help reduces the amount you pay of put-of-pocket costs.
The federal government provides this assistance usually to:
- Individuals earning up to $28,725
- Families of 4 earning up to $58,875
The Tax Penalty
If someone can afford health insurance and decides not to have coverage in 2014, they may have to pay a fee also known as Tax Penalty. The penalty can be any of the options explained below (whichever is higher):
- 1% of your yearly household income.
- $95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18).
*This fee increases every year.
*If you’re uninsured for less than 3 months, you don’t have a make a payment.
To avoid the fee you need insurance that qualifies as Minimum Essential Coverage.
You’re considered covered and don’t have to pay a penalty if you have any of the following:
- A Marketplace plan.
- An individual insurance plan.
- Any employer plan with or without “grandfathered” status.
- The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- Veteran health care programs.
- Peace Corps Volunteer plans.
Some people are exempted from the fee.
- Individuals and families below a certain income
- People who cannot afford the coverage that is available
- Individuals who have been uninsured for less than three months
- Members of American Indian tribes
- People who do not obtain coverage because of religious objection
To apply for an exemption, you have two options:
- through MNsure via an interface with the federal system (once it is available)
- through the IRS when you file your 2014 taxes
Get a quote or estimate by visiting the Minnesota ObamaCare Exchange..
You can apply and get a quote for Obama Care online.
Call 1-855-366-7873 (1-855-3MNSURE) if you have any questions.