Beginning in October, the way Minnesotans get health insurance will change as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The new law aims to reduce the uninsured population by requiring people to get coverage and by setting up online marketplaces called exchanges where people can look at private insurance options and government subsidies. Here are answers to some of the questions about how the process will work:
Q: How many people in Minnesota are expected to get their insurance through the state's new health care exchange?
A: About 1.3 million, or about a quarter of the state's population.
Q: How many residents are currently uninsured?
A: About 500,000, or about 9 percent of the state's population. Minnesota's exchange is expected to extend coverage to about 300,000 of them. The rest are either exempt, are expected to opt to pay the fines rather than buy insurance, or will likely fail to sign up for free coverage to which they're entitled.
Q: When does open enrollment begin?
A: Oct. 1.
Q: When does the coverage take effect?
A: Jan. 1.
Q: Who is eligible to buy coverage through the exchange?
A: Anyone lawfully present in this country, whether they're U.S. citizens or foreign citizens with green cards.
Source: Minnesota Management and Budget.