Minnesota

This isn't technically ACA-related, but it's certainly healthcare related and it was posted via the Minnesota ACA exchange, MNsure:

ST. PAUL, Minn.—The Minnesota Insulin Safety Net Program, launched earlier this year, provides a pathway for Minnesotans in urgent need of insulin (less than a 7-day supply on hand) to access the life-saving drug through their pharmacy. The program—implemented by MNsure, the state's health insurance marketplace, and the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy—was created to help Minnesotans facing difficulty affording their insulin.

The Insulin Safety Net Program is made up of two parts: 1) The urgent need program for eligible Minnesotans to receive a once-per-year 30-day supply of insulin immediately at their pharmacy for no more than a $35 copay; and 2) The continuing need program for eligible Minnesotans to receive up to a year supply of insulin for no more than $50 per 90-day refill.

Interested individuals should visit MNinsulin.org to see if they qualify and learn how to apply.

Who qualifies?

via MNsure, Minnesota's ACA exchange:

MNsure Open Enrollment Runs Through December 22

November 18, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Since the start of MNsure's open enrollment period on November 1, nearly 102,000 Minnesotans have signed up for 2021 private health insurance coverage – approximately 10% more than this time last year.

MNsure's open enrollment period runs until December 22, 2020, a week longer than the federal open enrollment period.

“Every Minnesotan should have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you've got comprehensive health coverage, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MNsure CEO Nate Clark. “You can sign up through MNsure.org through December 22 for coverage beginning January 1, 2021. Don’t delay. Contact a MNsure-certified assister who can walk you through the enrollment process.”

2021 Minnesota health insurance rates continue to show stability for another year; expanded consumer choice across the state

ST. PAUL, Minn.—The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced final 2021 Minnesota health insurance rates today, which will remain stable across the state. For the 2021 plan year, 80 counties have three or more health insurance companies offering plans on the exchange, compared to just 31 counties with three or more in 2020. Ninety-seven percent of Minnesotans buying health insurance through MNsure will have an average of 30 different qualified health plans and three or more carriers to choose from.

Five health insurance companies are partnering with MNsure for the 2021 plan year: BluePlus, HealthPartners, Medica, UCare, and newly added Quartz, a Madison-based insurer offering plans in some southeastern Minnesota counties. Quartz will be offering 14 qualified health plans on the exchange. Additionally, dental plans will be available from Delta Dental and Dentegra.

via MNsure:

With recent reports illustrating the growing number of uninsured Americans across the country, MNsure is reminding Minnesotans that there are options. For those who have lost their health insurance, seen a change in income, or experienced a qualifying life event, enrollment opportunities may be available.

"The last couple of months has brought tremendous uncertainty to many families across the state," said MNsure CEO Nate Clark. "It's important that Minnesotans know there are enrollment opportunities available if they lose their health insurance. MNsure is here to help."

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 100,000 Minnesotans have come through MNsure to find health insurance coverage.

For new customers, you may be eligible to enroll if:

I'm glad to see MNsure getting the word out about this issue but it's disturbing that they felt a need to do so...

CONSUMER ALERT: How to find MNsure online and make sure you're buying comprehensive coverage

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Searching for MNsure on the internet can yield misleading results. If you search for MNsure, you may see ads and websites that appear to be the official MNsure website but are not. Some of these sites collect your contact information and either bombard you with phone calls or try to sell you sub-standard health insurance. Here’s how to be sure you’re working with MNsure and purchasing comprehensive health care coverage:

Those eligible for the urgent need program must:

Check the website URL: make sure you’re clicking on MNsure.org when using a search engine or simply type MNsure.org into your address bar.

via MNsure...this is from a couple of weeks ago but it's still important for all Minnesota residents to know!

ST. PAUL, Minn.—The Minnesota Insulin Safety Net Program launched today, July 1, 2020, allowing Minnesotans in urgent need of insulin (less than a 7-day supply on hand) to access the lifesaving drug through their pharmacy. The program – implemented by MNsure, the state's health insurance marketplace, and the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy – was created to help Minnesotans facing difficulty affording their insulin. 

The Insulin Safety Net Program is made up of two parts: 1) The urgent need program for eligible Minnesotans to receive a once-per-year 30-day supply of insulin immediately at their pharmacy for no more than a $35 copay; and 2) The continuing need program for eligible Minnesotans to receive up to a year supply of insulin for no more than $50 per 90-day refill.

Interested individuals should visit MNinsulin.org to see if they qualify and learn how to apply.

The good news out of Minnesota is that the Commerce Dept. has published the preliminary 2021 average rate changes for both the individual and small group markets in a simple table.

The bad news is that they haven't published any of the actual actuarial memos or templates which include the two other critical pieces of data I need to run my analysis: The current effectuated enrollee totals for each carrier, and what (if any) impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the proposed rate changes.

I was able to estimate the former by looking at MNsure's June executive board meeting slide deck, which breaks out the on-exchange enrollment by carrier by percentage. Unfortunately, this doesn't include off-exhange enrollment. Minnesota's total individual market was around 155,000 people a year ago, so the odds are that nearly 1/3 of the total market is missing below. I also have no idea about any COVID-19 factor in the rate filings yet.

via MNsure (this was actually posted a couple of weeks ago but I missed it):

ST. PAUL, Minn.—99,688 Minnesotans have come to MNsure.org and enrolled in private health insurance through a special enrollment period (SEP) or received eligibility for a public assistance program (Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare) since March 1. As expected, sign-ups across all programs have been driven by concerns amid the pandemic.

"It’s never been more important to know you’re covered. That’s why we are so glad to have been able to help almost 100,000 Minnesotans gain access to comprehensive health care coverage," said CEO Nate Clark. "But we know there are others out there who are currently uninsured and may qualify to sign up. If you’ve recently lost your employer-sponsored health insurance, had an income change, or have another qualifying life event, come to MNsure.org to see if you’re eligible."

via MNsure:

MNsure offers enrollment opportunity for Minnesotans newly eligible for financial help due to decrease in income

  • MNsure is the only place to get financial help to lower the cost of health insurance

Starting May 11, 2020, MNsure is offering an ongoing special enrollment period for Minnesotans who experience a decrease in household income and become newly eligible for advanced premium tax credits (APTC). Those looking to enroll will need to have had health insurance that meets the standards in the Affordable Care Act, also known as minimum essential coverage (MEC), for one or more days in the 60 days immediately preceding their decrease in household income.

Minnesotans must act within 60 days after they experience a decrease in household income to be eligible. 

After a TON of tedious work porting data over into my county-level COVID-19 tracking spreadsheet, I've completed charts breaking out confirmed cases in two additional states: Minnesota and Texas.

Minnesota was an obvious choice, given that it was the closest swing state won by Donald Trump. Texas may seem like an unusual choice given that it's considered to be a solid red state and that it hasn't seen the type of ugly outbreak of COVID-19 (yet) that several other states have, but I happened to discover that unlike states like Florida and Georgia, Texas's Health Dept. dashboard makes it quite easy to download the historic case and fatality data I need to compile these charts, so I decided to go for it. The results in both states are interesting for different reasons.

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