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Minnesota’s Open Enrollment Deadline Extended for 2019

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Minnesota’s Open Enrollment Deadline Extended for 2019

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Updated: December 3, 2018    Published: December 3, 2018

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This year in Minnesota, you have extra time to join Obamacare and private health insurance plans. For Open Enrollment 2019, Minnesotans will be able to enroll in a new health plan through January 13, 2019.

Open enrollment traditionally lasts from November 1 through December 15. Minnesota extended their deadline about a month beyond than the federal minimum.

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Why is Minnesota OEP Different?

Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Care Act or ACA) is a federal program. MNsure is the Affordable Care Act branding for the state of Minnesota. To an extent, MNsure can create its own statewide rules, like a local extension for Open Enrollment 2019.

Minnesota Is More Generous Than Other States: As of writing, only six other states extended their Open Enrollment Period for 2019.

Minnesota Open Enrollment 2018 also had an extension, and the result was over 100,000 more Minnesotans enrolling in new health plans than usual. TwinCities.com reported that nearly 65 percent of those who enrolled during last year’s extended OEP qualified for tax credits.

If it weren’t for the time extension, most of those enrollees may not have applied for tax credits, and would have missed out on money-saving plan changes.

Minnesota Insurance Agents Are Busy: Another deciding cause for this Minnesota OEP extension was that thousands of Minnesota Medicare beneficiaries are going to be looking for new coverage this year due to the discontinuation of “Medicare Cost Plans.”

Even though Medicare is for seniors – unlike MNsure and Obamacare – the change in Medicare options means more Minnesotans will be scrambling to make changes to their healthcare during this time of the year. Insurance agents will be busy trying to help as many people as they can meet the deadlines. This extension can mean the difference between a person having suitable coverage and not being able to pay their medical bills.

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Minnesota Open Enrollment 2018-19

We’re now halfway through Minnesota Open Enrollment 2019 (which, confusingly, began in 2018). During this period, you can enroll in a new health insurance plan for 2019. It’s also much easier to see if your current insurer has added more appropriate choices.

If you are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program; or if you endure a special circumstance like a marriage, move, or adoption, you do not necessarily have to enroll during OEP because you will qualify for a temporary Special Enrollment Period.

Minnesota Medicare Enrollment for Seniors: If you qualify for Medicare, keep in mind that the health insurance Open Enrollment Period and the Medicare Open Enrollment Period are two very separate things. Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period lasts from October 15 through December 7 of each year.

If You Sign Up After December 15, When Does Your Minnesota Health Insurance Plan Start?

As long as you sign up by December 15, your Minnesota health insurance plan will start on January 1, 2019. Now that the Minnesota Open Enrollment period has been extended, if you sign up between December 16 and January 13, your new plan will begin on February 1, 2019.

Temporary Coverage Fills Gaps: If your new coverage doesn’t begin immediately, consider a short-term health plan so that you don’t have a gap in coverage.

Pivot Health, a HealthCare.com short-term subsidiary based in Minnesota, recommends these 30-day plans to people who have been “left behind” by Obamacare. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re between plans and have a medical emergency!

MNsure vs. MinnesotaCare

MNSure: When the Affordable Care Act was established in 2010, states were given the opportunity to establish their own health insurance enrollment programs instead of relying on the federal government. Thus, MNsure was born.

MNsure states that MNsure operates with a mission “to ensure all Minnesotans have the security of health insurance.” It is not an insurance company.

MinnesotaCare: Additionally, MinnesotaCare is not the same thing as MNsure or even Minnesota Medical Assistance. Be careful to not confuse these three programs. MinnesotaCare is a state-funded program that helps enrollees who qualify pay for health plan premiums and other out-of-pocket costs.

Minnesota Medical Assistance is the name for the Minnesota Medicaid program. If you are eligible for Minnesota Medical Assistance, you can enroll any time of the year.

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How to Sign Up for MNsure Minnesota Health Insurance Plans for 2019

The longer you wait to enroll, the longer it will be before your coverage begins. Even though you still have time to make your decision, the clock is ticking.

By law, prices for Minnesota health insurance plans are the same on HealthCare.com as they are anywhere else. If you’re eligible for healthcare tax credits (or “subsidies”), you can get those exact same discounts by selecting a plan on HealthCare.com. You don’t need to sign up through a different website.

Okay, land of 10,000 lakes. Are you ready to sign up for 2019 health plans? Thanks to Minnesota’s enrollment period extension, there’s still time!

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