Weather Forecast


Nominate your favorite local businesses today

Health insurance open enrollment ends soon

The Department of Commerce issued a consumer alert to remind Minnesotans that open enrollment for health insurance will end on Monday, March 31 and that now is the time to explore options and purchase coverage.

Open enrollment is the specific time of the year that someone can buy or change their insurance coverage. The next open enrollment period will begin on Saturday, November 15.

After March 31, the “individual responsibility requirement” of the Affordable Care Act, also known as the individual mandate, will begin.

This is the requirement that every person must have health insurance of some kind. If someone doesn’t have insurance that qualifies as “minimum essential coverage,” they may be subject to a fee at the end of the year when they file their taxes.

In the first year, the fine is $95 per adult or 1 percent of family income, whichever is greater. In subsequent years, the penalty goes up.

In general, if someone already has health insurance coverage, they do not need to buy a new plan. Minimum essential coverage includes government-program coverage like Medicare, Medicaid/Medical Assistance, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), veteran’s coverage and TRICARE.

In Greater Minnesota, call the Consumer Response Team at 1-800-657-3602 if you have any questions.