Friday, October 7, 2016

What is Minimum Essential Coverage?

A phrase that pops up a lot with Affordable Care Act compliance is “Minimum Essential Coverage,” MEC for short. But just what does it mean?

Minimum Essential Coverage
One of the main points of the Affordable Care Act was to make sure all taxpaying Americans have affordable health insurance that meets certain criteria. Obviously, one bit of this criteria had to be that all types of insurance offered as ACA compliant offer a certain amount of coverage.

Starting to get an idea of where this is going?

But, just to make sure everyone’s up to speed: minimum essential coverage is the type of coverage that meets at least all of the basic ACA requirements for health insurance.

Applicable Large Employers, insurance providers, and anyone else required to provide offers of coverage, must offer insurance that meets MEC or pay a fine. And, trust us, you don’t want to pay the fine.

Types of Minimum Essential Coverage
As a rule of thumb, the following types of health insurance meet minimum essential coverage:
  • Employer-sponsored coverage, which includes COBRA and retiree coverage
  • Coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace/Affordable Insurance Exchange
  • Medicare Part A
  • Medicare Advantage plans
  • Most Medicaid coverage
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage
  • Certain coverage administered by the Veterans Administration
  • Coverage provided to Peace Corps volunteers
  • Non-appropriated Fund Health Benefit Program coverage
  • Refugee Medical Assistance supported by the Administration for Children and Families

If you need a plan for reporting the minimum essential coverage you offered your employees/recipients this year, check out ExpressACAForms! It’s simple, fast, and secure! If you have any questions, just give us a call at (704) 839-2270 or send us an email to

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