What is Minimum Essential Coverage?

Minimum Essential Coverage
It’s time to find out!

In our last post, we very briefly went over minimum essential coverage while talking minimum value as it pertains to the health insurance coverage you offer employees or clients. Today, we’re going to go more in-depth with MEC to ensure your questions are answered!

What is Minimum Essential Coverage?
Minimum essential coverage (MEC), sometimes called “qualifying health coverage,” refers to health care coverage that meets all minimum requirements to be considered compliant with the Affordable Care Act. All taxpayers are required to have health insurance that meets MEC, so employers, insurance carriers, and other providers of health care coverage have a serious obligation to offer it.

“Serious obligation” as in, “Provide it, or be prepared to pay a lot of money to the IRS.”

Types of Minimum Essential Coverage
As a general rule of thumb, these types of health insurance meet MEC requirements:

  • Employer-sponsored coverage that includes COBRA and retiree continuation coverage
  • Coverage that comes from the Health Insurance Marketplace/Affordable Insurance Exchange
  • Medicare Part A coverage
  • Most coverage from Medicaid
  • Coverage from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Certain coverage administered by the Veterans Administration
  • TRICARE coverage
  • Coverage provided through the Peace Corps
  • Coverage provided through non-appropriated Fund Health Benefit Program
  • Refugee Medical Assistance supported by the Administration for Children and Families

If this didn’t answer all of your questions, or if you’re ready to report your MEC to the IRS, check out ACAwise! We’re here to help you e-file Forms 1094 and 1095 and do our best to answer any ACA compliance and e-filing questions you may have! We’re available Monday through Friday by phone (704-954-8420) and live chat from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. We also provide 24/7 email assistance at [email protected].

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