As a young professional on a budget, Miranda often researches products before purchasing and shops around to get the best value for her money. Little did she know she would be able to do that with her health insurance.
“I really didn’t think I was going to get better coverage at a lower premium, but there were several options out there,” said Miranda.
Miranda is an account manager at a large consulting firm and is offered insurance through her employer. When MNsure open enrollment began, she decided to check it out, just to compare her employer costs and coverage with what was offered on the marketplace.
“I quickly realized that the premiums through my employer were pretty high and the coverage was not that great compared to what was being offered on MNsure.”
Because Miranda is offered insurance through her employer she is not eligible for tax credits or subsidies. However, she was able to purchase a platinum plan with a low deductible and will save about $1,250 a year in premiums and more than $1,000 a year in out of pocket costs.
“I encourage my friends, family, everyone I talk to that they should go check it out.” She believes knowledge is power, and that it’s important for people to know what their options are.
Premiums on MNsure are the lowest in the nation. Young people in Minnesota can now find health coverage at a price that fits their budget.
Karla currently holds a COBRA policy with her former employer. The policy costs her $580/month and is scheduled to expire in March.
Anticipating the end of her COBRA coverage, Karla began contacting insurance companies a couple months ago to compare plans and costs. Little did she know that her pre-existing conditions made her uninsurable.
“I consider myself a healthy person,” said Karla. “They said I was uninsurable because I’m on too many medications.”
Karla now considers the denial a blessing, because through MNsure, she will be able to purchase a comparable health insurance policy for $178/month, thanks to an advanced premium tax credit only available on MNsure. The difference in cost will save Karla more than $400 each month.
“I am going to save a lot of money. It was really good timing for me because when COBRA runs out I would basically be uninsurable.”
Starting in 2014, people like Karla cannot be turned down or charged more for pre-existing conditions. Advanced premium tax credits are only available through MNsure.
Mary discovered that she had a rare and serious medical condition in February of 2011, which required surgery and regular monitoring.
Subsequent related medical issues made continuing her career as a lawyer impossible. Her family’s health coverage at the time was a high-premium, high-deductible plan, and the regular doctor visits her treatment required meant the copays added up quickly. Earlier this year, Mary was told that her condition had recurred, and she is facing another surgery and follow-up MRIs twice a year.
Mary visited MNsure.org as soon as the site was live to explore her options. She enrolled in a plan that covers 100 percent of office visits, testing, surgeries, hospital stays, prescriptions and more—and that will save her family nearly $10,000 next year.
Julie is a self-employed massage therapist in Harmony and has been paying for health insurance completely out-of-pocket for years.
Twenty-three years ago Julie lost her husband to cancer. She was left to raise two young children on her own. With one of her children suffering from a severe physical disability, going without health insurance was not an option. “My monthly insurance payment is more than my mortgage payment,” Julie explains. “I could find cheaper plans but my deductible would skyrocket and my coverage would suffer.”
Julie is anticipating that through MNsure, she will find a health insurance policy that is affordable and gives her the coverage she needs. By using the MNsure cost calculator, it appears that savings are coming her way. “This is going to put hundreds of dollars back in my pocket each month,” says an excited Julie.
MNsure is the place for Julie to find coverage that will fit her budget needs.
James has been an independent family farmer for more than 35 years. As a dairy producer in Franklin, James embraced farming as a way of life a long time ago.
During those many years putting food on the tables of many homes, James has gone without health insurance most of the time. “If you’re a farmer, you’re going to put the farm first,” explains James. “When the decision is between buying seed and paying a health insurance premium, you’re going to buy seed.”
Three years ago James was struck by appendicitis. The bill for the operation, pills and a little over one day in the hospital came to $30K. Since he was without health insurance, James negotiated a monthly payment plan with the hospital that he will be paying for another year or longer. Because more than one fourth of his monthly income ($500) goes toward his health care bill, he doesn’t have any money left over to buy health insurance, so he remains uncovered.
James is now preparing to transition his farm to his daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Andy. “The greatest joy of being a family farmer,” says James, “is being able to share it with your kids and grandkids.” But the family worries that another health problem will pop up and, without health insurance, they could end up losing the farm.
James is looking forward to MNsure and hopes to finally get health insurance he can afford.
Sam is a college graduate trying to build a successful career in public policy. Although relatively new to the business world, Sam has already encountered the knocks and uncertainties of an unstable, depressed economy.
Finding a career-launching opportunity has been a struggle for the University of St. Thomas graduate who has degrees in philosophy and music. After serving in the AmeriCorps program for 2 years, Sam found work at a co-op and as a weekend DJ. He also devotes hours interning at community organizations where he works with youth and urban gardens, two of his greater passions. “Despite my 2 jobs, 2 internships and a lot of job searching, I remain drastically under-employed,” says Sam.
And then it happened, a simple twist of fate that we’re all sure won’t happen to us, a broken arm from a bike crash. “Neither of my jobs offered insurance at the time of the accident,” explains Sam, “and since a private plan proved too expensive for my budget, I was uninsured.” At the urging of hospital staff, Sam applied for Medical Assistance and was approved due to his low income. As a result, he was able to afford the expensive hospital visits following his accident.
Sam looks forward to the time he can enroll in an employer-sponsored plan or afford his own coverage. But for now, he understands well the benefits of public programs like Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. “MA offers me access to preventative health care so I can stay healthy,” Sam states. “It gives me security and peace of mind. One major accident or illness could mean financial ruin and derailment from my current path towards self-sufficiency.”
Beginning in October, Medical Assistance recipients will enroll and select a health insurance plan through the MNsure marketplace.
We all dream of early retirement, and Sally of Minneapolis did just that, she chose to retire early. She traded in long meetings, office politics and job-related stress for slower-paced, relaxing days where oftentimes her most crucial negotiations are with the computer.
But at age 62, Sally is not yet eligible for Medicare and must pay for her own coverage out of pocket. “I have been stuck with a very high deductible that doesn’t even cover the medications I need,” says Sally. “I think MNsure is a chance to do better and I’m looking forward to finding affordable health care that works for me.”
MNsure gives Sally another place to find coverage that fits her budget and needs until she becomes eligible to enroll in Medicare.