Residents of the North Star State are spoiled for choice when it comes to health care. According to a study by U.S. News, Minnesota has the seventh best health care in the country. That rating accounts for access, quality, and good public health.
Health insurance options in Minnesota
There are several ways for Minnesotans to access health care in their state:
- From your employer
- Through your spouse's employer
Individual or family plans
- Through HealthCare.gov
- Directly from a health insurance company
Where do most Minnesotans get their health insurance coverage?
|Individual or family
|Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population
Only four percent of Minnesotans are uninsured, well below the national average. That’s great news for policyholders. More uninsured residents leads to higher rates for insured people.
Minnesota health insurance costs and rate factors
MN residents spend an average of $8,871 every year on health care, less than the national average. How much should you expect to pay for health insurance coverage in the North Star State? Providers consider several factors that vary person to person:
A higher level of coverage costs more money. Marketplace plans come in metal tiers: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.
How much is health insurance in MN? These are the average monthly premiums for a middle-aged resident in 2020:
|Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Change in Average Marketplace Premiums by Metal Tier
Premiums for a gold plan cost about 37 percent more than a bronze plan. That’s because gold plans cover 80 percent of medical costs, while bronze plans cover 60 percent of medical costs.
You may qualify for a catastrophic plan, the lowest possible coverage level. These policies are designed for people with financial exemptions or under the age of 30. Catastrophic plans come with low monthly premiums, but also a $8,150 yearly deductible. Even with those low monthly premiums, you’ll save money with a bronze plan if you actually need to use your health insurance.
Body mass index
According to the CDC, a high body mass leads to various health conditions. Because of this, insurers analyze your BMI to determine your risk-level. A high BMI leads to higher health insurance rates.
In 2018, MN had a 30.1 percent obesity rate, the 30th highest rate in the country. Out of the many residents who used QuoteWizard to compare health insurance plans, 26 percent have a BMI in the obese range.
It’s no surprise that smoking leads to several serious illnesses, which is why tobacco users pay more for health insurance. About 14.5 percent of Minnesotans are smokers, the 11th lowest rate in the country.
Health insurance costs up to three times more for an older person than a younger person. MN residents using QuoteWizard to compare health insurance policies are, on average, 41 years old.
Location is one of the most important factors in your health care options. That’s because every state has different rules, regulations, and providers in their marketplace.
Insurance companies also use community-rating techniques to determine your costs. Your rates depend in part on the claims that everyone files. If your neighbors file an abnormally high number of claims, it could hurt your rates.
How health-conscious your state is may influence your costs. According to America’s Health Rankings, Minnesota is the sixth healthiest state in the country.
Minnesota health insurance companies
Minnesota is a state with a health care marketplace site. It’s called MNsure, and it helps every state resident find insurance. These are the top insurers offering individual and family plans through MNsure:
- Blue Plus
- Group Health/Health Partners
Check out MNsure to find out how plans vary and to shop around for providers.
Minnesota health insurance laws
The Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance companies can’t consider certain factors while pricing your policy:
- Pre-existing conditions: Insurance companies used to charge people with pre-existing conditions more for health care. Now, the ACA limits providers from doing that.
- Gender: According to a study about health care costs, women historically pay more for health care. Luckily, the ACA doesn’t allow insurance companies to charge men and women different premiums for the same plan.
- Insurance and medical history: Insurance companies also used to analyze your medical history and past insurance coverage. People with previous medical problems or lapses in insurance had higher rates.
There’s a limit to how much you can pay out-of-pocket for a marketplace plan. In 2020, the out-of-pocket maximum is $8,150 for an individual plan and $16,300 for a family plan.
Minnesota laws requires that insurance companies offer at least some coverage for the following services:
- Home health services
- Emergency services
- Maternity benefits
- Hearing aids
- Eye exams
- Clinical trials
- Family therapy
There are additional services for which state law requires providers offer coverage. To see more, read the full list from cms.gov.
Medicare, Medicaid and more in Minnesota
Medicare and Medicaid are federally funded programs that provide low-cost insurance. Minnesota also has MinnesotaCare for working, uninsured residents. Medicare aids seniors 65 and over, while Medicaid covers low-income families and children.
MinnesotaCare is a health care program for uninsured and working MN residents. This program is state-funded by taxes on hospitals and health care providers. To see whether you qualify for this special program, check MinnesotaCare’s financial requirements.
Medicare assists people ages 65 and over. There are plenty of options within the program, including parts A, B, C, D, and supplemental coverage plans. You may also qualify for a Medicare Savings Programs with these income limits:
- Individual monthly income limit: $1,456
- Married couple monthly income limit: $1,960
You may be eligible for Medicaid (Medical Assistance), an affordable health care program. These are the state’s Medicaid financial requirements:
|Maximum Yearly Income
Minnesota Office of the Insurance Commissioner
- Insurance Commissioner:
- Jessica Looman
- Insurance Hotline:
- (651) 539 – 1500
- Office Hours:
- Monday - Friday
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- File a Consumer Insurance Complaint
- Complaint Page
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