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Five MNsure things to know

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With a new round of deadlines approaching for Feb. 1 health plan coverage through MNsure, the organization addressed a few frequently asked questions.

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1. What is the deadline for enrolling through MNsure if I want health insurance starting February 1?

Individuals using MNsure to find new coverage effective February 1, 2014, must enroll and make a payment by 5 p.m. on Jan. 15.

2. What are the deadlines for those who qualify for Medical Assistance (MA) or MinnesotaCare?

The Jan. 15 deadline does not apply to Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. For Medical Assistance, individuals will be covered for the entire month in which they apply. For MinnesotaCare, individuals will have until Jan. 31 to apply for coverage effective Feb. 1. Premium invoices for MinnesotaCare are still delayed. Once the MinnesotaCare premium bill is received, the client should pay it as soon as possible.

3. After I select a plan and enroll through MNsure, what is the deadline for making the first payment?

For those seeking coverage that starts Feb. 1, online payments must be made by 5 p.m. on Jan. 15. Other forms of payment must be received by MNsure (PO Box 64832; St. Paul, MN 55164-0832) or the health plan by close of business on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

4. What are my options for making the first payment?

Customers are strongly encouraged to pay online on the same MNsure marketplace where they select and enroll in coverage. Online payment can be done by credit card or another form of electronic payment such as an e-check, debit card or electronic transfer from a bank account.

As an alternative, customers can make manual (off-line) payments in person at the Minnesota Department of Human Services Cashier’s Office at 540 Cedar Street, St. Paul MN 55155. They accept check, money order, and cash payments with invoice. (Be sure to include your MNsure ID on your check. Cash payments must be exact amounts; they cannot make change.) The DHS Cashier’s Office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

5. If I don’t enroll in time for February 1 coverage, what are my options?

While the deadline for Feb. 1 coverage is Jan. 15, the MNsure open enrollment period will continue through March 31. Enrollment and payment for March 1 coverage must occur by Feb. 15, and enrollment and payment for April 1 coverage must occur by March 15.

Those who do not enroll and do not have health insurance coverage through another source face potential tax penalties under the federal Affordable Care Act.

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