Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA) is the state’s high risk pool that provides health insurance coverage to individuals as a plan of last resort when they cannot get coverage in private markets. MCHA is considered a model high risk pool in the nation.
MCHA Public Meeting Archives
MCHA Public Meeting | Videoconference on July 22, 2013 - (Archived Presentation .wmv)
MCHA Public Meeting | Videoconference
on July 30, 2013
- (Archived Presentation .wmv)
Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association Frequently Asked Questions. Click on the question to view the answer.
MCHA covers Minnesotans that cannot obtain insurance through other means such as:
In addition, MCHA insures those individuals that lose group coverage and are eligible under either the:
MCHA receives its funding from two main sources:
Under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), beginning in 2014, MCHA will not be needed to perform this function in the market due to:
There are special eligibility categories in MCHA that will need to be addressed as part of this transition:
The Minnesota Insurance Marketplace Act (2013 Session Law Chapter 9) directs, “the commissioner of commerce in consultation with the board of directors of the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, has the authority to determine the need for and to implement the eventual appropriate termination of coverage provided by the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 62E. The phase-out of coverage shall begin no sooner than January 1, 2014.”
As authorized by the Minnesota Insurance Marketplace Act, the Commerce Department, in consultation with MCHA, has begun the process to determine the need for and to implement the eventual appropriate termination of coverage provided by MCHA. The transition of coverage (including phase-out) from MCHA to the health insurance markets shall not begin sooner than January 1, 2014. The transition process will include an opportunity for public notice and comment on a draft transition plan.
The initial goal of a transition plan, as required under the Minnesota Insurance Marketplace Act, will be to determine the need for and to implement the eventual appropriate termination of coverage provided by MCHA, with any phase-out of coverage not to begin sooner than January 1, 2014. The Commerce Department goals in developing a transition plan will include the following:
The Commerce Department, in consultation with MCHA, will develop and implement a safe and orderly phase-out plan for the MCHA transition under the following timeline:
|April 1 - June 15, 2013||Begin analysis for draft transition plan, including public input and comment and stakeholder meetings.|
|June 30, 2013||Release Draft Transition Plan for public comment|
|July 1 - 31, 2013||Public Comment on Draft Transition Plan|
|August 31, 2013||Issue Final Transition Plan|
|Sept. 1- 30, 2013||MCHA enrollees provided information for open enrollment period|
|Oct. 1 - March 31, 2014||Open Enrollment Period for MNsure|
For additional information, please see the detailed timeline (.pdf).
There will be a variety of opportunities for the public to give comments on the MCHA transition. Starting May 1, 2013, comments can be submitted to MCHA.Comments@state.mn.us. After a Draft Transition Plan is released on June 30, 2013, public comments can be submitted concerning the plan to the Department during July 1 to July 31, 2013. MCHA will update enrollees about opportunities for public comment, including public meetings. The Commerce Department will issue public notices and post information on its website.
Generally, an MCHA transition plan will seek to achieve the goals for transitioning MCHA enrollees. It will identify the ongoing needs of MCHA enrollees, coverage options that are available in the marketplace, a timeline when MCHA members might be expected to find new coverage in the market. The plan will set out the expected timeline for phase-out of MCHA, the supports that can be provided to MCHA enrollees to ease the transition, any financial needs of MCHA for the enrollee transition, and communication, outreach plans and strategies to ensure a safe and orderly transition of MCHA enrollees.
MCHA has approximately 26,000 members, many of whom have serious ongoing health conditions. The Department, in consultation with MCHA, is working with stakeholders to determine the most effective and responsible manner to transition members from MCHA to the private markets while they are in the midst of a course of treatment without causing hardship, including developing education and outreach efforts to inform consumers of upcoming changes.
With the advent of the ACA’s requirements of guaranteed issue in the entire market, which means that insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, the reason for MCHA's existence as the insurer of “last resort” to provide coverage for individuals who cannot purchase products in the private market is going away. Additionally, a significant portion of MCHA enrollees who do not have large ongoing claims may look to leave MCHA as new opportunities and subsidies are available in the new insurance market beginning in 2014.
Answers to questions from Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA) Public Meetings conducted from May 1 through June 15. Click on the question to view the answer.
Correct. Beginning with health plans purchased during open enrollment and effective January 1, 2014 or after, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage, limit your benefits, or adjust your premium cost due to a pre-existing health condition. Companies also cannot deny you coverage based on:
The Department of Commerce is currently evaluating options for how to wind down MCHA in a safe and orderly transition process for current enrollees. MCHA will remain available to current enrollees throughout 2014. However, the final transition plan will identify how the transition process will work during and after 2014, and when MCHA will close permanently. Some advantages in transitioning from MCHA to a new health plan include:
The final transition plan will include strategies for transitioning to new health coverage. Before October 1, 2013, MCHA will send all enrollees a list of Navigators, In-Person Assisters, Agents, and Brokers for an individual to contact for help. In addition, Minnesota’s Health Insurance Exchange, MNsure will have a list of many of these individuals on its website and the MNsure help line will be open September 3, 2013 to answer questions about open enrollment.
At this time, individuals turning 65 in 2014 do not have to transition off MCHA if the individual prefers to stay with MCHA coverage. The Final Transition Plan will identify a possible transition process for individuals turning 65 in 2015 and 2016. However, you are encouraged to explore your health insurance options during open enrollment on October 1, 2013 to see if a better plan or rate is offered through another health insurance company.
Whether your doctor is part of the network of your new insurance coverage will depend on which plan you choose. You will need to research the different health plans and the networks available to you. The MNsure website or your insurance broker/agent will have this information when you begin to research new health plans during the open enrollment period, October 1, 2013 . You will be able to look for your doctor in the plans offered and choose the option that will work best for you.
MNsure is Minnesota’s Health Insurance Exchange, where Minnesotans can shop for health insurance, and compare coverage and cost. We encourage you to visit www.mnsure.org for complete information. In addition to purchasing health coverage online, Minnesotans who choose to use MNsure will be able to learn whether they qualify for various public programs or tax credits to help pay for insurance. Individuals also have the choice whether to buy plans outside of MNsure; this is similar to the marketplace as we know it today.
Please visit www.mnsure.org for all information related to the new health insurance exchange and its benefits. Some advantages for going through MNsure include: