The Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange
Is the online health insurance marketplace in Minnesota operated by the state of Minnesota?
In November 2011, Governor Mark Dayton signed Executive Order 11-30 to develop a Minnesota health insurance exchange. An Advisory Task Force and Technical Work Groups were established with broad representation to develop recommendations for how it should work. In March 2013, Governor Dayton signed House File 5 into law, officially establishing a state-based health insurance exchange for Minnesotans. The official exchange name is MNsure; this is the website consumers can use to compare health insurance options, apply for financial assistance, and enroll in coverage.
Will there be a variety of plans available through the Minnesota Exchange?
On May 29, 2013, the Minnesota Department of Commerce disclosed that nine companies had filed to sell plans on the exchange. It appears that three of those companies will be offering dental only plans.
On September 6, 2013 MNsure issued a Press Release announcing, ‘mnsure offers low rates and help paying for health insurance.’ MNsure will offer 141 individual and 63 small business plans.
“MNsure is pleased to offer Minnesotans a wide array of plans with some of the lowest premiums in the country,” said Brian Beutner, Chair, MNsure Board of Directors. “For many Minnesotans, financial help through MNsure will mean that they will be able to afford health care coverage for the first time.”
“Minnesotans in every corner of the state, regardless of income, age or medical history, will be able to choose from multiple plans to find the coverage that is right for them,” said April Todd-Malmlov, Executive Director of MNsure.
For a look at what you can expect to see on the exchange, check out the Health Care Coverage and Plan Rates for 2014 booklet.
Will premiums and coverage be the same statewide?
Minnesota is broken up by counties into nine geographic rating areas. Since different regions have different health care costs, insurers can charge different premiums in each of the rating areas. The same person may have a different premium in region one than they would have in region eight. Insurers are also not required to offer coverage or plans statewide; so counties will have different health insurance options available.
Here is a look at the rating areas in Minnesota:
What will the health insurance options available through MNsure look like?
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will be offering both individual and small group plans through MNsure. Plan options for both individuals and small groups include BlueBasic, BluePrint, BlueAccess, and Blue Connect.
BlueBasic products will use the Consumer Value Network, this is a smaller network of doctors and hospitals. The individual plan will be available at the bronze metal level and the small group plans will be available at the bronze and silver metal levels.
BluePrint by Blue Cross and Allina Health will use the Allina network, this network is centered around an 11-county metro area. Individual plans will be available at the silver and platinum metal levels and the small group plans will be available at the silver, gold, and platinum levels.
BlueAccess will use the Blue Cross Aware network and will be available statewide. This network uses 100 percent of hospitals and 98 percent of doctors in Minnesota. The individual plan will be available at the silver metal level and small group plans will be available at the bronze, silver, gold, and platinum levels.
BlueConnect Sandford Health will use the Sanford Health network, available in western Minnesota. The individual plan will be available at the gold metal level and small group plans will be offered at the silver, gold, and platinum metal levels.
HealthPartners will offer individual coverage throughout Minnesota, except the very southeast corner of the state. The HealthPartners Key plan will use the Key Open Access Network and be available at the gold, silver, bronze, and catastrophic metal levels. Check out the HealthPartners Key Plan booklet for more details about plan options.
Medica will be offering individual and small group plans; the individual plans are through Medica Health Plans of Wisconsin and the small group plans are through Medica Insurance Company.
Individual plans will be available at the gold, silver, bronze, and catastrophic metal levels. The Medica Applause product will use the Medica Applause network; the North Memorial Acclaim product will use the North Memorial Acclaim by Medica network; and the Inspiration HealthEast product will use the Inspiration Health by HealthEast and Medica network.
Medica plans offered through the Small Business Health Options Program will be offered at the gold, silver, and bronze metal levels. The Medica Elect and Medica Essential products will use the Medica Elect Network and the Medica Essential Network respectively.
PreferredOne Insurance Company will be offering individual and small business products through MNsure. Both individual and small group pans will use the Choice Network and the Select Network. Individual plans will be available at the platinum, gold, silver, bronze, and catastrophic metal levels. Small business plans will be offered at the platinum, gold, silver, and bronze metal levels.
UCare Minnesota will be offering six individual UCare Choices plans. UCare Choices will use the UCare Choices Network and be available at the gold, silver, bronze, and catastrophic metal levels. Fairview UCare Choices will use the Fairview Health Network and be available at the silver and bronze levels.
Here is a look at the service area for UCare Choices:
New information is being released every day. Follow this blog to receive updates as new information is released in Minnesota.
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