11/14/2014 10:14:43 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Coordinator
ST. PAUL, Minn.- As the 2015 open enrollment period nears, MNsure is making sure all Minnesotans have the information and tools they need to have a successful enrollment experience.
"We have learned a lot since last year about how people enroll in health insurance coverage through MNsure," said CEO Scott Leitz. "We're hopeful this information will alleviate some common frustrations Minnesotans experienced last year."
MNsure is the only place you can get financial help such as tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, or to enroll in no-cost or low-cost coverage under Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. Eligibility for financial help depends on household size and income. If you enrolled in a MNsure plan for 2014 and it is not offered in 2015, you must select a new MNsure plan if you want to continue receiving financial help.
Thousands of MNsure-certified navigators and brokers are ready to assist Minnesotans with free, in-person enrollment help. MNsure's online assister directory is accessible from the MNsure.org homepage, and is being updated to reflect all current assisters ready to help with the 2015 open enrollment period. The directory is searchable by organization, county, city, zip code and language.
New online tools are available to give Minnesotans more information before they enroll in health insurance coverage. These tools include:
2014 and 2015 Plan Mapping - easily check to see if your 2014 MNsure plan is offered again in 2015. This is accessible by clicking "Renew Coverage" on the MNsure.org homepage beginning November 15.
Application and Enrollment checklist - before Minnesotans sign-in to MNsure.org, they will be brought to a page with important enrollment tips and instructions. Consumers will also have the opportunity to print a checklist to follow while going through the enrollment process.
Improved Enrollment Events Calendar - Minnesotans will easily be able to find enrollment opportunities in their area. The events calendar is accessible from the MNsure.org homepage.
Mobile Application and Text Reminders - Smartphone users can download the "Make A Plan" app to find free in-person assistance near their current location. The app can also send enrollment reminders throughout the open enrollment period. Minnesotans can also text ENROLL to 30644 to get text message reminders about upcoming open enrollment activities.
Open enrollment begins November 15, 2015, and ends February 15, 2015. When your coverage begins depends on when you complete your enrollment. For a plan selected on November 15, 2014 through December 15, 2014, coverage will start January 1, 2015. For a plan selected on December 16, 2014 through January 15, 2015, coverage will start February 1, 2015. For a plan selected on January 16, 2015 through February 15, 2015, coverage will start March 1, 2015. Open enrollment ends on February 15, 2015.
If you qualify for MinnesotaCare, your coverage will start on the first of the month following the month you applied. If you qualify for Medical Assistance, your coverage will start on the first of the month in which you applied.
It is currently the law for most Americans to have health insurance coverage. If you are required to get health insurance coverage and do not do so, you will be subject to a tax penalty, which increases over time.
In 2014, the tax penalty was the greater of $95 per adult, or 1% of taxable income, up to a maximum of $285 per family.
Starting in 2015, the tax penalty will be the greater of $325 per adult, or 2% of taxable income, up to a maximum of $975 per family.
In 2016, the tax penalty will be the greater of $695 per adult or 2.5% of taxable income, up to a maximum of $2,085 per family.
After 2016, the tax penalty increases annually based on a cost-living adjustment.
Beginning November 15, the MNsure Contact Center will be open extended hours through open enrollment. Minnesotans can call the MNsure Contact Center at 1-855-366-7873 Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Saturday - Sunday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Open enrollment for 2015 coverage begins November 15, 2014, and ends February 15, 2015. Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year-round.
Since the launch of MNsure, 371,038 Minnesotans have enrolled in quality, affordable coverage through MNsure. 55,900 are enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan, 234,751 in Medical Assistance and 80,387 in MinnesotaCare. As of May 2014, 95 percent of Minnesotans have health coverage - the highest percentage in state history.