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This week, the state of Minnesota launched a multimedia ad campaign promoting MNsure, its new state-based health insurance exchange. “Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Reasons to Get Health Insurance (And one great place to find it),” stars Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, the state’s larger-than-life folk icons. The print, bus and billboard, TV, and radio ads depict the lumberjack facing medical predicaments while engaging in a series of stereotypically Minnesotan activities—waterskiing, snow skiing and wood chopping, to name a few. The ads’ seemingly goofy scenarios aim to demonstrate the unexpected and sometimes unimaginable reasons it is important to have health insurance.
While the $9 million campaign, funded by federal grants, has received mixed reactions so far, it has certainly captured Minnesotans’ attention. And that is the goal: to encourage more than 1 million Minnesotans without access to employer-sponsored health plans to buy from the MNsure online health insurance marketplace.
Rolled out just in time for the Minnesota State Fair, MNsure plans a major presence at the festivities. Its new marketing efforts will certainly gain some exposure. The “Great Minnesota Get Together,” is among the nation’s largest and boasts 1.9 million guests annually.
MNsure.org provides Minnesota-specific Obamcare info
Minnesotans can visit www.mnsure.org to learn more about the MNsure marketplace, which opens for enrollment on Oct. 1 along with the rest of the nation’s state-based and federally run health insurance exchanges. Coverage begins Jan. 1, 2014, when Obamacare requires that most Americans have health insurance coverage.
Visitors to the MNsure website can familiarize themselves with how the exchange will work and learn about consumer assisters, which include agents and brokers, navigators and in-person assistors and certified application counselors. The site offers information specific to individuals and families, small employers, American Indians, health care providers, and plan carriers, in addition to providing links to additional resources.
Minnesota exchange plans and rates
State-based and federally run marketplaces are not required to make costs public until Oct. 1. Although a handful of states have already revealed proposed plans and rates, Minnesota is not yet among them.
In June, Minnesota Public Radio reported that nine Minnesota carriers had submitted their rate proposals; however, state law requires they keep their filings confidential until October. The state may reveal the proposed rate information if it keeps the carriers that proposed them confidential, reported MPR.
Know your health insurance needs before the marketplace opens
Start considering your health care needs and budget now, find out if individual health insurance plan details and rates for your state’s state-based or federally run health insurance exchange are available, and think about what additional coverage you and your family members might benefit from. For instance, a bundled gap plan may include coverages such as accident medical expense insurance and accident disability income insurance, which can help create more comprehensive protection like that offered through an employer. A critical illness insurance plan pays out lump-sum cash benefits upon diagnosis of certain illnesses that can be used for everything from medical bills to childcare. And, of course, dental insurance is important to oral and overall health and costs as little as $12 per month.
Use the healthedeals.com Health Care Reform Calculator, which was listed among The Financial Times “Best Online Tools for the Toughest Health Questions,” to estimate your Obamacare health insurance cost and tax credit.
Finally, if you are recently uninsured and not certain what to do until January 1, 2014, a temporary insurance plan can coverage for as few as 30 days. Contact a healthedeals.com sales consultant for more information on short-term health insurance and supplemental plans.
Jenifer Dorsey is a freelance writer whose specialties include health and fitness, wellness, sports and recreation. She is a competitive amateur track cyclist who also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, camping and other outdoor adventure. Jenifer received a B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and is an MFA candidate at Naropa University. She lives in Colorado.