Is Minnesota the most competitive ACA market in the USA?

Make sure you are prepared for more U65 enrollments on and off exchange this fall.

With a national average of 86% of members receiving Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs), Minnesota has the nation’s highest number of members paying full premiums with just 56% receiving APTCs of Minnesota’s 105, 677 individual ACA membership.

The good news is that although ACA prices are high, Minnesota has one of the lowest average monthly premiums at $443.17 against a national average of $576.16 (Note the highest monthly average in Iowa, is an eye watering $818.20 per month).

CMS ACA 2020 report and U65 enrollment opportunities

Five carriers offer plans in Minnesota: Blue Cross and Blue Shield; Medica; UCare; HealthPartners; and Preferred One. Along with many competing providers, our local market has strong fundamentals, which creates one of the healthiest ACA markets in the USA.

After three years of premium decreases, we may see modest rate increases for 2021. We also expect to see plans such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield enhancing their plans with wider networks to attract members seeking alternatives to traditional Group coverage.

Across the nation, 10.7 million have individual ACA coverage with 94% continuing to pay premium and maintaining coverage demonstrating a stable market.

Many small businesses are concerned about revenue, wanting to reduce cost risks with group health insurance plans and to simplifying their involvement with insurance. We expect to see more small and large employers asking agents about HRA options such as ICHRA and QSHRA; both provide tax incentivized defined contribution alternatives to traditional group plans.

MNsure certification opens Monday August 3rd. Click here to be directed to the MNSure certification page.

MNsure’s portal offers a simple and easy way to enroll clients with or without APTCs. Brokers and members using the MNSure portal do not have to submit their tax information if not applying for APTCs.

You can enroll clients directly with BCBSMN and Medica off exchange if you do not wish to use the MNsure portal.

If you are an existing MNsure broker, the recertification requirement is to complete the annual MNsure Assister Data Security, Accessibility, Compliance and Ethics which will be available in the MNsure Learning Center. Continuing Education (CE) credits are not available for recertifying brokers.

For new brokers, the requirements include 6 hours of CE credits:

  • MNsure Assister Data Security, Accessibility, Compliance and Ethics (1 CE upon successful completion)
  • MNsure Assister Core Curriculum (2 CE upon successful completion)
  • MNsure Assister Role-Based Training (2 CE upon successful completion)
  • MNsure Assister Portal (1 CE upon successful completion)

Support staff are required to complete MNsure Assister Data Security, Accessibility, Compliance and Ethics for certification or recertification.

Recertification must be completed by October 15 or certification status will be suspended.

If you only wish to enroll Off-Exchange, you do not need a MNSure certification.

Many members state the importance of enrolling with a licensed agent to ensure their providers are in network and for education on using their plan.

Another area that agents address is how to cover their deductible which, for single coverage, goes up to $8,550 and $17,100 for families in 2021. Low cost Accident or Metal Gap plans are designed to cover first dollar expenses that are a key area of stress for those with an ACA plan.

LifeSecure, UnitedHealthOne and IHC offer Accident and Gap plans to help your clients navigate first dollar coverage.

Short Term Medical coverage has seen significant increases in state where coverage is available for 12 months or more. Minnesota still has a 6-month coverage rule; however, many healthy people consider jumping to a Short-Term Medical plan in the 6-month run up to Medicare. Short Term Medical plans are only offered by UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule) and IHC Group in MN.

Click here to access the CMS 2020 ACA Enrollment snapshot.


For more information on Short Term Medical, Accident or Gap coverage reach out to LaRae Mills or Weston Peterson.