Health insurance is endlessly complicated and is different for each person, so it's important to ask for help. Check out the Frequently Asked Questions below or find some resources here. Don't give up and let us know how we can help.
By using this resource, you understand and agree that the information given is not intended nor implied to be, and will not be used as, a substitute for professional legal, tax, insurance or healthcare advice (but we’re happy to refer you to these professionals). Springboard for the Arts is not a provider, agent/broker, advisor or consultant of healthcare or health insurance.
Deductible: The amount you must pay out-of-pocket for covered medical expenses before your health insurance coverage begins. For example, if your deductible is $1,000, you will need to pay $1,000 in medical expenses before your insurance coverage kicks in.
Copay: A fixed amount that you pay out-of-pocket for a medical service or prescription drug, usually at the time of service. Copays are typically a smaller amount than the total cost of the service or drug.
Coinsurance: A percentage of the cost of a medical service or prescription drug that you pay out-of-pocket after you have met your deductible. For example, if your coinsurance is 20%, you will pay 20% of the cost of the service or drug, and your insurance will cover the remaining 80%.
Premium: The amount you pay each month for your health insurance coverage.
Out-of-Pocket Maximum: The maximum amount you will need to pay out-of-pocket for covered medical expenses in a given year. Once you reach your out-of-pocket maximum, your insurance will cover 100% of the remaining costs for covered services.
Open Enrollment: A period of time each year when you can enroll in or change your health insurance plan, usually between November and December.
Medicaid: A government-funded program that provides health coverage for people with low incomes or disabilities.
Medicare: A federal health insurance program that provides coverage for people over 65 or with certain disabilities.
Why do I need health insurance in Minnesota?
Health insurance provides financial protection in the event of an unexpected medical emergency or illness. Minnesota law also requires residents to have health insurance or pay a penalty, which is known as the individual mandate.
How do I purchase health insurance in Minnesota?
You can purchase health insurance in Minnesota through the state’s health insurance marketplace, MNsure, or directly from an insurance company. To enroll through MNsure, you can visit their website at mnsure.org and create an account. From there, you can compare plans, find out if you are eligible for financial assistance, and enroll in a plan that meets your needs.
What types of health insurance plans are available in Minnesota?
There are several types of health insurance plans available in Minnesota, including:
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). HMO plans typically have lower out-of-pocket costs but require you to choose a primary care provider and get referrals for specialist care.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). PPO plans usually have higher out-of-pocket costs but give you more flexibility to see any provider without a referral.
Point of Service (POS). POS plans are a hybrid of HMO and PPO plans, which allow you to choose between in-network or out-of-network providers.
High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP). HDHPs usually have lower monthly premiums but require you to pay a higher deductible before insurance coverage kicks in.
What factors should I consider when deciding on a health insurance plan?
Consider the following factors when comparing plans:
Monthly premiums. How much you pay each month for your health insurance coverage.
Deductible. The amount you pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses before your insurance coverage kicks in.
Copays and coinsurance. The amounts you pay for medical services and prescriptions after you have met the deductible.
Provider network. The doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers that are covered by your insurance plan.
Prescription drug coverage. Whether your medications are covered by your insurance plan and how much you will need to pay for them.
Out-of-pocket maximum. The maximum amount you will need to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses in a given year.
How do I enroll in health insurance in Minnesota?
You can enroll in health insurance in Minnesota through MNsure, the state's health insurance marketplace. You can also purchase insurance directly from an insurance provider or through your employer.
When can I enroll?
The open enrollment period for health insurance in Minnesota typically runs from November 1st through December 15th each year. However, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period if you experience certain life events, such as losing your job or getting married.
What does health insurance cover?
Health insurance in Minnesota typically covers a variety of medical services, including doctor visits, hospitalizations, prescription drugs, mental health care, and emergency room visits. The specifics of what is covered will depend on your particular plan and the insurance provider.
Can I still get coverage if I have a pre-existing condition?
Yes, under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. However, the specifics of how pre-existing conditions are covered will depend on your particular plan and insurance provider.
How much does health insurance cost in Minnesota?
The cost of health insurance in Minnesota varies depending on several factors, such as your age, health status, and the type of plan you choose. You may be eligible for financial assistance to help offset the cost of your premiums, depending on your income.
Are there any special health insurance programs available in Minnesota?
Yes, Minnesota has several special health insurance programs available to residents who meet certain eligibility requirements. These programs include Medical Assistance (Minnesota's Medicaid program), MinnesotaCare (a state-sponsored health insurance program for low-income residents), and the Minnesota Family Planning Program.
Free + Discounted Programs
What are some of the programs that offer free or discounted insurance in Minnesota?
Minnesota offers a number of programs that provide free or discounted health insurance coverage, including:
Medical Assistance (MA). A state-run program that provides health coverage to eligible low-income individuals and families.
MinnesotaCare. A program that provides low-cost health coverage to eligible individuals and families who do not have access to employer-sponsored insurance and who do not qualify for Medical Assistance.
Premium Subsidies. Subsidies are available to help lower the cost of private health insurance plans purchased through MNsure, the state's health insurance marketplace, for eligible individuals and families.
Medicare Savings Programs. Programs that help eligible Medicare beneficiaries pay for their Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
How do I know if I am eligible for free or discounted insurance in Minnesota?
To determine your eligibility for free or discounted insurance in Minnesota, you can use the eligibility screening tool on the MNsure website. You can also contact MNsure or the program directly to learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process.
How do I apply for free or discounted insurance in Minnesota?
The process for applying for free or discounted insurance in Minnesota varies depending on the program. You can apply for Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare through the state's online application system, MNsure. You can also apply by phone, mail, or in-person. To apply for premium subsidies, you must enroll in a private health insurance plan through MNsure and provide income and other eligibility information. To apply for Medicare Savings Programs, you can contact your local county human services agency or the Senior LinkAge Line.
Will my free or discounted insurance cover all of my medical expenses?
The level of coverage provided by free or discounted insurance in Minnesota varies depending on the program and the specific plan you are enrolled in. Generally, these plans provide coverage for essential health benefits, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and preventive care. However, you may still be responsible for some out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
Can I keep my current doctor if I enroll in a free or discounted insurance plan?
The provider network for free or discounted insurance plans in Minnesota varies depending on the program and the specific plan you are enrolled in. Some plans may have a limited network of providers, while others may allow you to see any provider. It is important to review the provider network for any plan you are considering to ensure that your current doctor is included in the network.
Can I enroll in free or discounted insurance at any time?
Enrollment periods for free or discounted insurance in Minnesota vary depending on the program. Generally, you can enroll in Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare at any time throughout the year. However, enrollment in premium subsidies and private health insurance plans through MNsure is typically limited to a specific open enrollment period each year, or to a special enrollment period if you experience a qualifying life event.