DHS News Release - DATE CORRECTION: MinnesotaCare coverage to cost less through 2022

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SEPT. 23, 2021

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Sarah Berg

MinnesotaCare coverage to cost less through 2022

Approximately 100,000 Minnesotans will save up to $52 a month on their MinnesotaCare premiums through the end of 2022.

The premium relief benefits low-income workers who have experienced some of the most severe economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reductions stem from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and were approved this year by the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Tim Walz. MinnesotaCare covers people who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford other health insurance.

Until January 2023, people with incomes under 160% of the federal poverty level of won’t have to pay premiums for MinnesotaCare. People whose incomes fall between 160% and 200% of the federal poverty level will pay reduced premiums.

“Every little bit helps,” Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said. “The pandemic has made it harder for people to keep up with their health care bills, along with all the other bills. Making MinnesotaCare more affordable leaves more money in their pockets to care for themselves and families.”

The changes mean:

  • No premiums for current enrollees and those newly eligible for MinnesotaCare who earn $20,415 a year or less for a single person, or $27,583 a year or less for a household of two
  • Reduced premiums of $4 to $28 a month for enrollees and new applicants who earn up to $25,520 a year for a single person, or $34,480 a year for a household of two

The lower premiums began earlier this year and will remain at reduced levels through 2022.

MinnesotaCare is designed with enrollee premiums and very low out-of-pocket costs for coverage that is typically broader than the insurance options available on the individual market, including dental, vision and comprehensive behavioral health services.

The program’s premiums are going down under a complicated formula. The American Rescue Plan Act increased premium tax credits for people who buy commercial health insurance through a state health insurance exchange such as MNsure. Because MinnesotaCare operates as Minnesota’s Basic Health Program under the Affordable Care Act, the program’s premiums are tied to the level of the federal tax credits. Federal regulations prohibit MinnesotaCare from charging more than an individual would pay to purchase a commercial health plan with premium tax credits through MNsure. This means that the higher premium tax credits result in lower MinnesotaCare premiums.

Earlier this year, the Legislature also voted to forgo collecting unpaid premiums during the federal COVID-19 public health emergency for people enrolled in both MinnesotaCare and the Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD) program.

Visit this link for a table of 2022 monthly MinnesotaCare premiums: https://go.usa.gov/xM58A

Minnesotans can apply for MinnesotaCare online through MNsure, with the help of a navigator, or by working with their county. Enrollment is available year-round. Visit the DHS website at mn.gov/dhs/health-care-coverage to learn about application options and help available in several languages.

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