Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Minimum Essential Coverage

When we talk about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the phrase “Minimum Essential Coverage” gets thrown around a lot, and it’s an important one. As an employer, you’ll need to keep Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) in mind when providing your employees with health insurance. In this post, we’ll dive into why that is.

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)

What Doesn’t Count as MEC?
  • 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

So now that you know about MEC, get ready to e-file your ACA forms with ExpressIRSForms! All you need to do is create an account and you’re on your way. If you need any help with the process, don’t hesitate to contact our customer support team in Rock Hill, SC. We’re available by phone Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT, at (704) 684-4751. If you can’t get us then, we offer 24/7 email assistance at

Looking for something a little less hands on? Try ExpressACAForms, our full-service ACA e-filing solution!

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