Consumers who lost out on federal health insurance subsidies because of MNsure's troubled website now have a way to recoup those discounts if they act by May 15.
Many frustrated consumers stymied by MNsure's online problems ditched the health insurance marketplace and applied for health coverage directly through insurance companies. But that that made them ineligible for premium tax credits.
Aiming not to penalize consumers for the website problems, the federal government has granted states some flexibility to retroactively apply federal subsidies such as premium tax credits.
Julie Brunner, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, the trade group representing Minnesota's health insurers, is pleased with the development.
"We certainly think this is going to continue the goal that we all have of covering as many people as possible," she said.
The actions stem from a federal bulletin in February, which allowed states with troubled online health insurance marketplaces some flexibility in determining who may be eligible for retroactive health coverage, lower cost sharing such as lower co-pays and deductibles, or premium tax credits.
But unlike the premium tax credits, consumers seeking retroactive coverage must show they had tried to obtain health insurance through MNsure.
To qualify, consumers must call the MNsure contact center by May 15.