Known for its Twin Cities, distinct accent and the gigantic Mall of America, Minnesota is home to many U.S. corporations and industry (from Minnetonka moccasins to Northwest Airlines), as well as being a safe, healthy place to live. With a variety of lakes and rivers, including the Mississippi, this mid-western state also boasts a large number of parks and preserved natural areas. Its residents can take part in many outdoor activities, despite the cold winters. With a number of small towns as well as large cities, Minnesota is a well-rounded state with much to offer.
Minnesotans have access to three main companies for health insurance coverage: Medica, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and Health Partners. Medica is based in Minneapolis, and offers plans in a few other states, but the majority of its low-cost, high benefit plans cater to residents of its home state. To compare plans between these companies and get an idea of cost and availability, enter your zip code and get a quote below. If you have any questions about health insurance, or need direction with choosing a plan, call one of our licensed brokers at 888 803 5917.
Minnesota is one of the healthiest states in the U.S., ranked 6th by the UnitedHealth Foundation for maintaining a fair level of health. Positive factors to the health of Minnesota include a low percentage of individuals who smoke, at less than 15% of the population. Minnesota is also one of the most insured states in the country, with less than 9% of the state going uninsured. There are a low number of deaths due to cardiovascular complications and diseases, and also less diabetic adults than most other states. Primary care physicians are also available throughout the state at a moderately high level.
There are some areas in need of improvement for Minnesotans, including the increasing number of adults who are obese and diabetic. Though less prevalent than other states, there are now over a million individuals who are considered medically obese in Minnesota. Diabetes now affects almost 7% of the population, which may not be much, but the number has grown over the past ten years. Minnesota can maintain its good health by utilizing its quality health insurance plans, and implementing more physical activity and nutrition. Wellness programs are offered through health insurance companies and the state health department for anyone who wants to learn how to live longer and improve the quality of their life.
Health Insurance Plans
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
- Basic PPO plans with low costs and coverage for select doctor and hospital services are available in Go Blue and Simply Blue plan designs. Both types cover 100% of medical costs after deductible for many major medical services with in-network providers. The plans vary with doctors office visits (covered in full after deductible with Go Blue, and available immediately for a copay with Simply Blue) and prescription drug options (more choices with Simply Blue). Go Blue plans have deductibles ranging from $4,000 to $15,000 for individuals, and Simply Blue plans range from $3,000 to $13,000. Both plans allow you to choose a higher deductible for a larger network.
- Comprehensive plans come in two types for a high level of coverage and a variety of deductibles to choose from. Depending on the plan you select, your plan covers 60%, 80% or 100% after meeting the deductible for a broad range of in-network physician and hospital care. Preventive care is covered as soon as your plan starts for no cost with a network doctor. You also have the opportunity to choose a higher deductible for a larger provider network.
- Health Savings Account plans have access to one of two provider networks, and have deductibles ranging from $2,700 to $9,000 for individuals. These plans provide either 80% or 100% coverage on in-network services once you meet the deductible. With an HSA plan, you can open a health savings account designated for medical expenses and receive tax advantages. While offering a comprehensive level of benefits, these plans also give financial control to its members, allowing the HSA funds to pay for qualified health care costs.
- Compass plans have deductibles ranging from $2,000 to $15,000 for individuals, and twice the amount for families. These plans have a low monthly premium and cover either 80 or 100% of your hospital expenses after the deductible is met. As soon as your plan starts, your first four doctor’s office visits are available for a copay, which can be $10 to $50 depending on your plan. Prescription drugs are also covered, you can choose a generics only option for a $10 copay, or generics and brand names for 20% coinsurance after deductible. Preventive care and 24-hour online clinic visits are also covered in full from the start date of your plan.
- Traditional plans cover the cost of in-network office visits, emergency room care and hospital services for 80% with deductibles of $2,000, $3,000 and $4,000, or 100% with a $5,000, $7,500 or $10,000 deductible. You have the option of using out-of-network care if you choose for a slightly higher amount. Prescription drugs are covered at your chosen amount of coinsurance after deductible. These plans cover preventive care in full when using in-network providers, and you can use these services right when your plan begins.
- Empower plans are high deductible health plans that qualify for use with a health savings account. HSAs are a great way to have control over health care finances, and you can choose to let the funds grow or pay for a variety of medical services to help meet the deductible. These plans have a higher premium (which is still low for many states) and you can choose a deductible of $3,050 or $5,950 for individuals, or $6,100 or $11,900 for families. Once the deductible is met, your plan covers in-network physician office visits, emergency care, inpatient and outpatient hospital and prescription drugs in full.
- Solo plans are designed for only one person and come in a range of deductibles. You can choose a plan that covers in-network services in full after deductible, or one that requires you pay 20% coinsurance. These plans provide preventive care services at no cost immediately when your plan starts, and your first three doctor’s office visits for a $20 copay. Convenience care center, urgent care and emergency room visits are also available for a copay before deductible.
- Encore plans offer coverage for an individual and one dependent if desired for deductibles or $4,050, $6,600 or $9,150 for individuals and $6,100, $7,600 or $9,150 for a pair. These plans cover unlimited office visits and urgent care for a copay of either $20 or $40, and unlimited convenience care for $10 per visit. After deductible, these plans cover 100% of hospital services, emergency care, lab work and surgery. Other services such as prenatal care and prescription drugs are also covered.
- Symphony plans are designed for individuals and families, with a wide range of high deductibles and 100% coverage after deductible on major medical services. As soon as your plan starts, you receive in-network office visits for a copay of $30 or $60, and preventive care at no cost. Urgent care and emergency room visits are also available for a copay before meeting the deductible. Deductibles range from $2,000 to $10,150 for individuals, and $4,050 to $20,300 for families. There is also a separate Symphony for HSA plan which offers the ability to open a health savings account.
Public Health Options
Minnesota offers several state-funded programs and services to its uninsured, underinsured and low-income residents. For health insurance coverage, eligible Minnesotans can apply for Medical Assistance, which is offered to families, children, persons who are aged, blind or disabled, and more groups with insufficient income to purchase their own health plan. To find out more about who qualified for Medical Assistance, read our Medicaid Eligibility by State page and locate Minnesota. Other services are offered through the state, including the new use of telemedicine for individuals in underserved and rural areas. For a full list of public health programs, visit the Minnesota Department of Health.
- Medical Assistance: health insurance for low-income families, children and other residents who are unable to afford medical coverage.
- MinnesotaCare: a subsidized health program for uninsured Minnesotans without access to employer health plans or other affordable insurance.
- SAGE Screening Program: providing eligible women in Minnesota with breast and cervical cancer screenings and follow-up services. SAGEplus provides heart health care for women also.
- Commodity Supplemental Foods Program: the Mothers and Children Program and Nutritional Assistance Program for Seniors provide the mentioned low-income groups, if eligible, with nutritious foods for free.
Health Insurance Laws
In the state of Minnesota, private health insurance companies and individuals who buy health insurance have laws to protect them in certain areas. Any individual who has a health plan is protected by guaranteed renewability, which states that your insurance company must offer to renew your benefits for another year at the end of your term. The same law also makes it possible for insured individuals to keep their coverage as long as they pay their premiums and other necessary costs, and do not commit fraud or any other act of violation. If their health status changes during the course of their plan’s term, an insurer is not permitted to cancel their plan on such grounds.
Pre-existing conditions are another important aspect of the individual insurance market. Minnesota insurers use the objective standard to define pre-existing conditions, meaning they consider any condition for which care or medical advice has been received before applying for a plan. Insurance companies can turn down such individuals due to costliness, or they can agree to sell them a plan for a higher rate than a healthy person. Once accepted, insurers in Minnesota have the right to add an exclusion period of up to 18 months to a plan. This exempts the insurer from paying for any care related to the recognized condition for a designated length of time. If you switch plans from another company, you are able to use the old plan as a credit to pay for uncovered care during the exclusion period in Minnesota.
There is an alternate option for individuals with pre-existing conditions in Minnesota, the Pre-Exsiting Condition Insurance Plan. Run by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in this particular state, these plans offer insurance coverage to adults with pre-existing conditions. These plans give qualifying individuals the opportunity to have a low-cost health plan that covers essential benefits. As they were created by the Affordable Care Act, these plans are due for expiration before January 1, 2014 when all adults regardless of health status will be accepted for a health plan. At this point, insurers will not be able to reject anyone for health insurance, and the use of exclusion periods will be banned as well.