Minnesota: @MNsure jumps on the #COVID19 SEP bandwagon from 2/16 - 5/17

via MNsure:

Statement of Nate Clark, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MNsure

Re: New executive orders signed by President Biden today that support state-run ACA insurance exchanges like MNsure

ST. PAUL, Minn.—"MNsure welcomes this news and the Biden Administration’s efforts to strengthen the Affordable Care Act to increase access to quality, comprehensive health coverage. As the nation continues to fight the deadliest pandemic in a century, the changes President Biden is making will benefit Minnesotans who need the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have health care coverage.

"President Biden’s executive order directs federal agencies to look at ways to protect and strengthen access to health insurance and increase protections for those who have preexisting conditions, including complications related to COVID-19.

"Too many Minnesotans still don’t know that the average Minnesota household was able to save nearly $5,000 on their health insurance premium bills last year, due to tax credits that are only available when purchasing coverage through MNsure. And, many uninsured Minnesotans don’t know they may qualify for low- or no-cost health insurance through MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance. For so many Minnesotans, those tax credits or low-cost health insurance options make what initially seemed unaffordable suddenly affordable. But we do need more federal help to get the word out about the financial benefits of accessing health insurance through MNsure. The Biden Administration’s plans to increase public awareness are a welcome and important sign that the federal government is renewing its support for access to comprehensive health care coverage.

"We are excited that the Biden Administration intends to strengthen the ACA and re-open the federal exchange for uninsured Americans who rely on HealthCare.gov to purchase health insurance. We are working in partnership with our stakeholders to ensure a smooth path forward for uninsured Minnesotans looking to enroll in comprehensive health coverage. We will share more about MNsure’s plans for a special enrollment period in the coming days."

MNsure is Minnesota's health insurance marketplace where individuals and families can shop, compare and choose health insurance coverage that meets their needs. MNsure is the only place you can apply for financial help to lower the cost of your monthly insurance premium and out-of-pocket costs. Most Minnesotans who enroll through MNsure qualify for financial help.

Sounds like they're still working out the start/end dates, along with whether to make it a fully open SEP (i.e., anyone who'd be eligible to enroll during Open Enrollment can do so here as well) or to limit it to those currently uninsured for whatever reason (to avoid exchange enrollees switching plans mid-year).

UPDATE 2/03/21:

MNsure, Minnesota's Health Insurance Marketplace, To Open Three-Month Special Enrollment Period

ST. PAUL, Minn..—Beginning Tuesday, February 16, MNsure will open a three-month special enrollment period to help any Minnesotan not currently enrolled through MNsure to secure health insurance coverage. This announcement follows the nationwide special enrollment periodestablished by President Biden for those states who use healthcare.gov, the federally run health insurance marketplace. MNsure’s special enrollment period will run until Monday, May 17.

"If you are uninsured, or have coverage outside of MNsure, you can come to MNsure.org between February 16 and May 17 to enroll in a health insurance plan. COVID-19 is still with us, so having access to comprehensive health care coverage is critical at this time," said MNsure CEO Nate Clark. "Not sure where to start? We have a statewide network of assisters who can help walk you through the process – just click on Find Free Help on our homepage.”

MNsure ran a similar special enrollment period for uninsured Minnesotans in March 2020 just after the start of the pandemic and enrolled nearly 10,000 Minnesotans into private health insurance coverage. In total, MNsure helped more than 24,500 Minnesotans secure health insurance coverage through a special enrollment period from the start of the pandemic through the end of 2020. Additionally, MNsure's annual open enrollment period, which ended on December 22, 2020, saw an increased number of enrollments, nearly 20% of which were new to the marketplace.

This upcoming special enrollment period is another opportunity for uninsured Minnesotans, or those currently enrolled outside of MNsure, to sign up for comprehensive health care coverage. Eligible Minnesotans can also take advantage of cost-saving benefits available only through MNsure. Those who enroll during this time will have coverage that begins on the first day of the month following their sign-up date. For example, Minnesotans who sign-up for coverage in February will have a March 1 start date. Those who sign up in March will have coverage starting on April 1, and so on.

Please note: Minnesotans currently enrolled in health insurance coverage outside of MNsure should confirm their coverage options through MNsure before making changes to their current coverage.

Getting started

  • Compare plans side by side using MNsure's plan comparison tool. Get estimates on premium costs, deductibles and more. Minnesotans can also use the tool to see if they qualify for financial help. Nearly half of current MNsure enrollees are receiving tax credits to lower the cost of their premiums, averaging almost $5,000 a year.
  • Set up a free appointment with a MNsure-certified assister. Virtual meeting options are available.

Year-round enrollment opportunities

In addition to this three-month special enrollment period, Minnesotans who experience a qualifying life event such as a loss of employer health insurance, loss of employer COBRA premium subsidy or decrease in income, may be eligible for a special enrollment period. These enrollment opportunities are available year-round to those who qualify. Minnesotans who qualify for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare or are a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe can enroll any time of year