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Your Guide to Private Coverage through MNsure

Private health plans may be new to you. The information below will help you learn about the differences between private health plans and Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare and how to use your new coverage.

How is private coverage different?

Private health insurance — also known as qualified health plans or QHPs — is coverage offered by private insurance companies on the MNsure marketplace.

This table shows some key features of Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare and private coverage.
Feature Medical Assistance MinnesotaCare Private Plan
You pay a premium each month to continue to have coverage No Yes Yes
You may get a tax credit to help lower the cost of premiums (if you qualify) No No Yes
You have an insurance card that you show every time you go for medical care Yes Yes Yes
You may have a co-pay for some services Yes* Yes* Yes
You may have a deductible No No Yes
You can shop and compare plans on MNsure and pick the one that's best for you No No Yes

* For adults 21 years or older

  • Deductible: The amount you must pay out-of-pocket for health care for services covered by your health insurance or plan before your health insurance or plan begins to pay.
  • Co-pay: A fixed amount (for example, $15) you pay for a covered health care service, usually when you receive the service.
  • Premium: The amount you must pay for your health insurance or plan, usually paid monthly, quarterly or yearly.

Note: Generally, the costs for Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare are very low as these programs are for Minnesotans with low incomes who meet eligibility rules. Find more information about Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare on the DHS website.

Why buy private coverage through MNsure?

  • MNsure is the only place you can get financial help to lower your costs.
  • All private health plans sold through MNsure are guaranteed to cover the same core set of benefits including preventive services, mental health and substance abuse services, emergency services, prescription drugs and hospitalization.
  • All private health plans sold through MNsure include important consumer protections like no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and no lifetime limits on coverage.
  • Plans available outside of MNsure may not include the same benefits and protections.

How do I use my new coverage?

After you select a private health plan and pay your premium, you will receive a membership packet with your insurance card and information called "summary of benefits and coverage" that describes what your plan covers.  

If you have questions about your coverage, call your insurance company to get help. 

Once your coverage starts, use it to help cover your health care costs. Learn more at these links:

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