MNsure Announces Special Enrollment for Current/Previously Enrolled in COBRA

August 14, 2015MNSURE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWill allow consumers alternative to traditionally high-cost COBRA coverageST. PAUL, Minn.— MNsure announced today it is offering a limited special enrollment period for Minnesotans who were offered and enrolled in Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage, but who received insufficient information to understand alternative options available to them through MNsure. “COBRA coverage is often very expensive, and is often offered at a time when the individual is experiencing hardship such as the loss of a job,” said interim CEO Allison O’Toole. “We hope this special enrollment period will allow current COBRA enrollees to reevaluate their situation, and come to MNsure to see if they can find a plan that meets their needs at a lower cost.”The COBRA special enrollment period will begin on Monday, August 17, 2015, and continue through Thursday, October 15, 2015. Consumers must contact MNsure, select a qualified health plan and enroll between these dates. The special enrollment period will be available to Minnesotans who meet the following criteria:

  • COBRA coverage was offered and the individual enrolled in that coverage during the past 18 months,
  • The individual is currently enrolled in COBRA coverage, or ended it prior to or during the special enrollment period, and
  • The individual did not enroll in a qualified health plan through MNsure since being offered COBRA coverage.

A consumer’s eligibility to enroll during this special enrollment period will be verified by MNsure before coverage goes into effect.“We believe there is insufficient information out there right now for COBRA enrollees about their alternative coverage options. We hope this special enrollment period will provide some clarity,” said O’Toole. “We will accompany this special enrollment period with targeted outreach messages so Minnesotans that fall into this category are made aware of this special enrollment period. We are also working with other state agencies to make alternative COBRA options clear moving forward.”More information about this COBRA special enrollment period, as well as specific enrollment requirements, will be available on beginning Monday, August 17, 2015.The 2016 open enrollment period is scheduled to begin November 1, 2015, and end on January 31, 2016. Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year round. As of May 2014, 95 percent of Minnesotans have health coverage—the highest percentage in state history.