How to Sign Up

MNsure is a whole new way for you to get an individual health plan. In the past you had to call up each individual insurance company or go through an insurance broker if you wanted to buy your own health insurance, but now MNsure provides a one-stop shop where you can compare plans and figure out which one is right for you. Also, remember that it is the only place where you can get government help to pay for your individual plan.

Getting started with MNsure

First, use MNsure as a tool to start comparing your options, so that you can make an informed decision when you are ready. Try the Plan Finder tool to see what plans might be available to you and read the cost overview page to check your eligibility for public insurance programs.

As you use MNsure, there may be times when you will be confused or even think there is a mistake. There are people who can help answer your questions. Get help by calling MNsure at 1-855-3-MNSURE (1-855-366-7873) or contact a MNsure Assister. It is important to make sure that you get the best and most affordable plan for your situation.

Open enrollment

Open enrollment for individual plans has ended for this year. People in certain situations can still sign up for a health plan under special enrollment rules.

Usually, you can only sign up for an insurance plan through MNsure during a certain time called open enrollment. To sign up for an individual plan that will cover you during 2020, you must sign up between November 1, 2019 and January 13, 2020.

If you do not sign up during that time, you will usually not be allowed to sign up for an individual plan through MNsure until another year has passed. That means you might not be able to get coverage for an entire year.

Special Enrollment

There are certain situations when you can sign up for an individual plan through MNsure even though it is not the usual open enrollment period:

  • If you lose other health coverage you had
  • If your health provider is not meeting its obligations
  • If your income changes and you gain or lose eligibility for government help paying for your coverage
  • If you become a legal resident of the United States
  • If you move
  • If there was a mistake in your enrollment
  • In other life-changing circumstances, such as having a child or getting married

Note: American Indians do not have these restrictions on enrollment.

Visit MNsure

The best way for you to get an idea of what you could get through MNsure is for you to browse its website or call the MNsure call center at 1-855-3-MNSURE (1-855-366-7873).

You don’t have to sign up for a plan immediately, unless the open enrollment period is about to end. What you should do is research the options listed and get good advice about other alternatives.

When you should not use MNsure

Before you start looking into an individual plan, make sure you talk with your employer to see if your family is covered by an employer-sponsored plan. If you are, you will not be eligible for MinnesotaCare or to get government help paying for an individual plan.

Minnesota Continuation Coverage for People Who Lose Their Individual Plans

Minnesota has a continuation coverage law that lets you keep your individual plan for up to 18 months if you become ineligible for it. For example, if your family had a plan and you got divorced, continuation coverage would let you all stay on the same plan.

Note: You cannot get government through tax subsidies to pay for a continuation coverage premium. You can only get government help paying for your premium if you get a plan on MNsure.

Here are a couple of examples of when continuation coverage makes sense:

  • If your plan had a high deductible and you have already paid the deductible for the year, think about staying on that plan until the end of the year. If you get a plan on MNsure with a deductible, you will have to start over on paying the deductible.
  • If you have a plan and you have already paid the full out-of-pocket maximum for the year, it also might make sense to stay on it until the end of the year, because the only thing you'll have to pay to get health care is your monthly premium; you won't have to spend on copayments, co-insurance, or anything else.

Think about your situation. If you decide to get continuation coverage, remember that you can stop your continuation coverage and switch to an individual plan through MNsure at the end of the year, which would likely be cheaper if you qualify for government subsidies.

For detailed information, see the Minnesota Department of Health’s FAQ about COBRA and Continuation Coverage.