Individuals need to renew or apply for health insurance coverage before Monday, December 15 to avoid paying significantly higher premiums or losing access to insurance and/or tax credits on Thursday, January 1, according to the Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters (MAHU).

Individuals who have purchased their own health insurance plans and are not covered through their employer or government plan may lose access to their tax credits or pay significantly higher premiums, unless they actively renew their policy by December 15.

Those who do not currently have insurance will lose the ability to secure a January 1 effective date if they do not apply for coverage by December 15.

“People can’t be so distracted by holiday shopping that they fail to apply in time,” said Heidi Michaels, agent and president-elect of MAHU.

Insurance companies have generally sent out notices, but agents have found that some people have not read them or kept the information in mind.

“If you have a policy that expires December 31, you can’t wait until the latter part of the open enrollment period, even if you go through MNsure because you would be without coverage from January 1 until the new policy takes effect, or renewed at a higher premium,” Michaels said.

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