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Minnesotans have new resource for health insurance

As of Oct. 1, Minnesotans have a new resource to find health insurance coverage that fits their needs and budget. MNsure is a marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can find, compare, choose and get quality health care coverage. MNsure plans will offer health insurance coverage beginning Jan. 1 and individuals, families, and small businesses have until Mar. 31 to enroll in plans for 2014. Trained specialists are available at 1-855-3MNSURE to answer any questions about MNsure.

At MNsure, Minnesotans can answer basic questions on one application to find out if they qualify for a low cost or free plan such as Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care, or if they qualify for federal tax credits that lower the cost of health insurance. Then they can then enroll in their health plan of choice. The information on the website describes each option in plain language and allows side-by-side comparisons.

In MNsure plans, there are no longer exclusions or waiting peri-ods for individuals with pre-existing health conditions. Indi-viduals can no longer be denied coverage or be charged a higher premium for coverage based on their medical history. Plans also will not have annual or lifetime limits on coverage.

Every MNsure plan will cover essential health benefits including preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies. Hospitalization, emergency services, prescription drugs, laboratory services, and mental/behavioral health services are also included. For women, all plans will cover maternity care with no waiting periods. Children will receive oral and vi-sion care.

MNsure plans also provide flexibility, choice, and cost control for small businesses. Small businesses with 2 to 50 employees can participate in MNsure if they offer coverage to all full-time employees. The business can choose how much they want to contribute toward employees’ premiums and what plans will be offered. Busi-nesses with fewer than 25 employees and employees at certain income levels that purchase through MNsure may be eligible for tax credits to help pay for coverage.

Help is available to assist Minne-sotans who are interested in get-ting coverage through MNsure. Plans can be purchased online at For people who would like to in-person assistance, trained brokers and representatives at community organizations will be available. Help is also available over the phone through the MNsure Contact Center (1-855-3MNSURE or 1-855-366-7873).