What is Minimum Essential Coverage?
Minimum Essential Coverage, or MEC, is the phrase used to describe the type of healthcare coverage you’ll need to provide to applicable employees in order to stay compliant with the ACA. It’s pretty straightforward in its definition as it applies to any coverage that offers at least the minimum amount of benefits required to be had by all American taxpayers.
MEC usually goes hand in hand with Minimum Value (MV), meaning the coverage you offer pays for at least 60% of the total allowed cost of benefits under the plan.
What Types of Health Insurance are Considered MEC?
For the most part, all Government and job-based insurance, as well as most private insurance, meet MEC requirements. This includes:
- Employer-sponsored coverage
- COBRA and retiree coverage
- Medicare Part A & Medicare Advantage coverage
- Most Medicaid coverage
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage
- Some types of Veterans Administration coverage
- Coverage provided under the Peace Corps
- Coverage under the Non-appropriated Fund Health Benefit Program
- Refugee Medical Assistance (supported by Administration for Children and Families)
- Plans that provide limited benefits typically don’t qualify as MEC, such as:
- Short Term Health Plans
- Fixed Benefit Health Plans
- Supplemental Medicare (Part D, Medigap)
- Some Medicaid
- Vision-only, Dental-only, and other limited benefit plans
- Grandfathered plans
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