published November 27, 2013
Healthcare law enrollment now extended to December 23 for coverage starting January 1
Starting in January, most U.S. Citizens and legal residents are required to have health insurance. If you are already covered by private insurance, you likely can keep what you have, if it meets eligibility standards under the new health care law, or change to a plan of your choice that does. If you have been previously uninsured, or wish to switch or ‘shop’ for plans, you can access the availability and cost of various programs available under new insurance exchanges.
Insurance exchanges provide information where Minnesotans can compare and purchase private health insurance or enroll in public programs like Medical Assistance and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Subsidies and tax credits will be available to eligible individuals and small businesses to make coverage more affordable.
Under the new health care law, individuals have until December 23, to sign up for health insurance coverage that takes effect on January 1, 2014. They then have until December 31 to pay their share of premiums for the first month. After that, consumers have to enroll by the 15th of the month in order to have insurance take effect on the first of the next month. The end of the open enrollment period for 2014 remains March 31, 2014.
Some important details about coverage under the Affordable Care Act are that:
- Beginning in 2014, plans cannot deny or exclude anyone or charge more for a pre-existing condition, including a disability
- Insurers can’t deny or exclude coverage to any child under age 19 based on a pre-existing condition.
You can visit the Minnesota exchange and on the homepage, you will be prompted through a series of steps including:
- Creating your account.
- Answering a short list of questions (they’ll let you know if you qualify for a free or low cost plan)
- Choosing a plan.
- Signing up and paying for your first month’s premium.
For questions or details you can also call MNsure at 1-800-318-2596.