If you do NOT want financial help, and prefer to pay full price for a plan, go directly to Shop and Compare to see what plans fit your needs.
If you are interested in getting financial help, first get an idea of what you might qualify for.
Tax credits can be used to lower your monthly premium costs of a private health insurance plan, and are only available through MNsure. To qualify, your household size and income has to meet certain limits.
Through MNsure you can also find out if your income and household size are in the income range for getting low-cost or no-cost insurance through MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance. If you qualify for one of these programs, you will not need to shop and compare plans on MNsure's marketplace because government-sponsored health plans are not on the marketplace.
When you shop and compare private health plans on the MNsure marketplace, start by selecting the metal level you think will fit your needs (see number 3 below). The plan with the lowest monthly premium is not always the best choice.
Metal levels and plan types and networks can be complicated, but it is worth understanding these basics because it can save you money.
If you expect to have a lot of doctor visits or need to fill prescriptions often, you may want a platinum, gold or silver plan, rather than a bronze plan because they pay more of your costs when you need care. (The plans available to you will vary depending on where you live, your age and whether or not you use tobacco).
If you purchase a silver plan and qualify for out-of-pocket savings, the deductible can be a lot less than a deductible for the typical bronze plan. You may end up spending less on health care overall if you enroll in a silver plan.
If you qualify for premium tax credits, you can use them for a plan in any metal category. If you qualify for cost-sharing reductions, you can use those only if you pick a silver plan.
When you shop for a health plan, it’s important to look beyond what the monthly premium will cost. Here are some basic things to keep in mind as you compare plans:
The monthly plan premium
The plan's deductible
The maximum out-of-pocket costs
What prescription drugs are covered and how much you will pay
What is covered and how much you will pay if you see a doctor or go to the emergency room
If you have a primary care doctor, check to see if she/he is in the plan's network
You can find this information in each plan's summary of benefits and coverage or SBC. SBCs are summaries provided by insurance companies explaining in plain language the benefits of the plans they offer and what these plans cover. All SBCs are formatted the same and cover the same information, which makes it easier to compare plans side by side.