MNsure Open for Business, Despite Federal Challenges
On Tuesday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has been in force since 2010. There has been great concern, particularly among Democrats, that the Court could throw the entire ACA law out the window. The Supreme Court will not rule on the case until next year.
Amid the uncertainty, MNsure took the occasion to get the word out that Minnesotans seeking comprehensive care health coverage can still sign up for plans that will be effective on January 1 through the exchange.
“As of today, the ACA is the law of the land,” said Nate Clark, CEO of MNsure, during a Tuesday morning press call.
Clark said that as of Tuesday morning, there were already nearly 98,000 enrollees for coverage in 2021. MNsure enrollment opened on Nov. 1 and continues through Dec. 22.
For the year ahead, five insurance companies are offering plans through MNsure: Blue Plus, HealthPartners, Medica, UCare and Madison, Wisconsin-based Quartz, which will offer coverage in southeastern Minnesota. Quartz is a new addition to the exchange this year.
Enrollees are also able to sign up for MinnesotaCare, a state health care plan for people with low incomes.
MNsure previously reported that premium rates were remaining relatively stable for 2021.
“I think the premiums are basically flat,” said Clark.
Coverage of the Supreme Court case has created uncertainty about the future of the ACA and coverage through exchanges.
“There’s confusion, there’s distraction. Consumers really aren’t certain what’s going to happen,” said Clark. “Better to get enrolled and be covered.”
Clark added: “MNsure is the only place where Minnesotans can come to the exchange and actually get financial assistance.”
According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, 8 percent of Americans – 26.1 million people – did not have health coverage at any point during 2019. Census Bureau numbers also showed that 55.4 percent of people were covered by employer-provided insurance last year.
“At a time when our nation is facing record numbers of Covid-19 cases, we are facing an attack on the health care coverage that Minnesotans have depended on for years,” said Gov. Tim Walz in a statement. “Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, our administration will do everything possible to protect Minnesotans’ access to affordable and comprehensive health care.”
In oral hearings of the case at the Supreme Court Tuesday morning, conservative justices seemed hesitant to strike down the law in full, CNBC reported.