Did you know that Minnesota has health bragging rights? It’s true. Minnesota is one of the healthiest states in the U.S. As a Minnesotan, you’ll want to do your part to help keep this trend going. Health insurance, wellness check-ups and screenings can help you attain your goals.
You can even get health insurance if you’re self-employed, work for a smaller employer, or happen to be in between employment. Here’s what you need to know about health insurance in Minnesota.
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The Best Health Insurance in MN:
- Best Overall in MN: AgileHealthInsurance
- Most Affordable in MN: PreferredOne
- Best Customer Service: BCBS Minnesota
- Best for Claims: HealthPartners
- Best for Short Term Health Insurance: UnitedHealthcare
What is Health Insurance?
Simply put, health insurance covers health expenses. Health insurance is either private or public. Private health insurance refers to coverage that is not offered by a state or federal government. Public health insurance, on the other hand, is offered by the government — Medicare or Medicaid are great examples.
You get private insurance from a private entity like an insurance company or a broker or through your employer’s group health plan. You can also get health insurance through Minnesota’s state-run health insurance exchange called MNsure. MNsure is a service that helps you shop for and enroll in affordable health insurance. Blue Plus, Group Health, Medica, UCare and PreferredOne offer coverage in Minnesota through MNsure.
Average Cost of Health Insurance in Minnesota
Health insurance premiums are based on age, amount of coverage and location. Here’s good news if you live in Minnesota: Your health insurance premiums are less than the national average — they’re about $30 per month less for single coverage and around $50 less for family coverage.
The average health insurance cost for single coverage premiums was $440 per month, according to data gathered by eHealth in 2018. The cost for premiums was $1,168 per month for family coverage.
It’s possible to spend less than this amount, too. UnitedHealth Group, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna are the 4 cheapest health insurance providers in the United States.
Types of Health Coverage
You can tap into 2 different types of coverage — private and public or government health insurance. We’ll focus on private health insurance in this section. Here are the different types of private health insurance you’ll find in the Land of 10,000 Lakes:
- Managed care plan: The insurer contracts with a network of health care providers to give lower-cost medical care to you. Choosing out-of-network hospitals and clinics will add penalties and fees to your plan.
- Indemnity or fee-for-service plan: A fee-for-service plan allows you to choose your place of treatment. Expect to pay about 20% of your health-related costs.
- Health maintenance organizations (HMOs): HMOs include a primary care physician who coordinates all necessary care. What happens if you need specialized care? Typically, HMOs only fund treatment referred by your general practitioner if you need specialized care. Fees are negotiated ahead of time to keep costs low.
- Preferred provider organizations (PPOs): PPOs allow you to visit any doctor you prefer. PPOs negotiate costs with a network of approved providers. You will pay less for treatment with in-network providers, but you can still use out-of-network providers. You don’t need your primary care physician to refer you to a specialist if you have a PPO plan — you can choose your own specialist.
- Point-of-service (POS) plans: A POS plan functions as a combination of HMO and PPO plans. You can choose between coordinating all treatment through a primary care physician, receiving treatment within the insurer’s provider network or using non-network providers. The type of plan will dictate your treatment progress.
What Does Health Insurance Cover?
Learn what’s covered and what isn’t covered in every policy. By law, every policy must cover a standard level of care. Typical areas of coverage include annual wellness visits to your physician, wellness testing, illness care, and more:
- Addiction therapy
- Prescription drugs
- Mental health treatment
- Pregnancy and postnatal care
- Necessary surgeries
- Urgent care visits
- Emergency medical treatment
- Cancer treatment
- Laboratory tests
- X-rays and other scanning procedures
- Pediatric health care
- Chiropractic care
What Does Health Insurance not Cover?
Health insurance covers many aspects of wellness and recovery — but it doesn’t cover everything. You’ll need separate coverage for dental and vision, elective cosmetic surgery and LASIK, for example. Here are a few other services that aren’t covered:
- Adult dental services
- Vision services
- Hearing aids
- Uncovered prescription drugs
- Acupuncture and other alternative therapies
- Weight loss programs and weight loss surgery
- Cosmetic surgery (if it’s not medically necessary)
- Infertility treatment
- Sterilization reversal
- Private nursing
- Travel vaccines
Best Health Insurance Providers in Minnesota
Minnesota has one of the highest standards of living in the United States, so it’s no surprise that when it comes to health insurance, many great options exist. Even better — most coverage begins the next day after you sign up.
You can get short term coverage if you’re between jobs, if you can’t afford traditional insurance, if you just graduated or if you retire early. Here are some of the best options in Minnesota.
Agile is a nationally licensed health insurance agency and is A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau. AgileHealthInsurance offers consumers a comprehensive and simple-to-use platform for comparing private health plan options such as short term health insurance.
Agile offers short term and indemnity health insurance and also includes affordable options. AgileHealthInsurance is consumer-friendly and takes the mystery out of health insurance shopping with its Health Insurance Learning Center. You can find answers to common questions and problems there.
A subsidiary of Fairview Health Services, PreferredOne is a solid option. PreferredOne contracts with 99% of Minnesota’s clinics and hospitals. This makes finding an in-network doctor and facility close to you helpful. PreferredOne is also proud of its innovative streak.
PreferredOne’s innovations include combining health plans, pharmacy benefit management, specialty pharmacy and mail service within a single organization. A streamlined organization means streamlined services and a single interface for you.
3. Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota
Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota is dedicated to providing quality, cost-effective health plans and unique health programs to Minnesotans like you. BCBS Minnesota offers geographically tailored plans, which cuts down your travel time and makes for more knowledgeable customer service agents.
BCBS Minnesota boasts affordable, high-quality care. You can save money by choosing in-network doctors, care facilities and pharmacies. You can also add dental and vision plans to benefit your overall health.
HealthPartners lives up to its name because it offers health plans to fit your needs and your budget. HealthPartners also lets you peek at the doctors in their network and covered prescription drugs before you enroll. HealthPartners offers its members some notable perks, including divorce, grief and loss, job stress and mental and emotional health counselors.
HealthPartners also helps its members save on things like fitness and food. The company will even pay you to go to the gym — now that’s a side hustle that benefits your body as well as your bank account!
UnitedHealthcare has a network of doctors and facilities that provides health insurance to individuals and employers. UnitedHealthcare is an in-network only company, which means you must use providers that are in the plan. You can choose a network physician or specialist without a referral.
UnitedHealthcare proudly offers an array of health and wellness resources, including an online health assessment, personal health record and online health coaching modules.
Get the Best Health Insurance in Minnesota
Accidents and illnesses happen no matter how healthy you may be. The best health insurance companies keep you healthy in the best of times with regular wellness check-ups and screenings. You’ll also be covered if you happen to twist an ankle or come down with influenza. Researching and choosing health coverage can be daunting but it’s important to have it when you need it most.