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What does it mean for a health plan to offer minimum essential coverage?

The IRS defines minimum essential coverage as follows;1

  • Most health insurance coverage provided by your employer,
  • Health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Coverage provided under a government-sponsored program for which you are eligible (including Medicare, Medicaid, and health care programs for veterans),
  • Health insurance purchased directly from an insurance company, and
  • Other health insurance coverage that is recognized by the Department of Health & Human Services as minimum essential coverage.