With Minnesota’s new health care premium relief and reform law now in place, District 16B State Rep. Paul Torkelson said local residents have the opportunity to take advantage of an open enrollment extension.

“Because of this law, there may now be more beneficial policies out there,” Torkelson said. “If you have the time, I’d encourage you to look into these new changes.”

The open enrollment extension period will end Feb. 8. This applies if one is looking to secure health insurance through MNsure, but it also applies to insurers who are underneath their enrollment cap or do not have enrollment caps to enroll people directly through their Web sites. The effect is that Blue Plus (BCBS) and HealthPartners will continue to accept individual market enrollment on their Web sites through this Wednesday (Feb. 8). 

Medica and Ucare policies are only available through MNsure. Medica is also below its enrollment cap and will accept new enrollment through Feb. 8. There’s also news for health insurance subscribers who receive federal advanced premium tax credits (APTC).

The new state law prevents residents from receiving APTC and the new 25 percent state premium rebate, but Torkelson said there’s a limited opportunity for a do-over.

Some people who are making between $36,180-$48,240 a year qualify for an APTC, but either receive very little or nothing be-cause of Obamacare’s APTC calculation. The new state law means these residents may receive a substantially better benefit with the state rebate.

Torkelson said those who have already enrolled in a plan and receive an APTC that provides less benefit than what they would receive from the 25 percent rebate, may cancel that policy and re-enroll without an APTC in order to benefit from the state rebate. This must be done by Feb. 8.

If one doesn’t receive an APTC and qualifies, they will automatically receive the 25 percent state rebate.