Does Medicare Count as Minimum Essential Coverage?

Healthcare Writer

Updated on: October 3rd, 2020

Reviewed by Diane Omdahl

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Medicare Part A counts as minimum essential coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, all taxpayers need to be enrolled in a plan that qualifies as minimum essential coverage (MEC). Such plans cover at least 60 percent of average medical costs and provide 10 essential health benefits, including preventative care, ambulatory and pediatric services.

If you’re a Medicare beneficiary or have a health plan through your employer, you almost certainly have minimum essential coverage. 

Even after you turn 65, you’re still responsible for maintaining minimum essential coverage. Having MEC is like buying car insurance. Even if your coverage is limited, you’ll have protection for basic and common needs.

Medicare Coverage Meets Minimum Essential Coverage in These Situations

You meet the MEC requirement if you have any of the following:

  • Medicare Part A only;
  • Original Medicare (Medicare Part A & Part B);
  • Medicare Supplement (which requires Medicare Part A); or
  • Medicare Advantage, Medicare SELECT, or another specialty Medicare plan like PACE (all of which must cover everything in Medicare Part A).

If you have private insurance plan, VA care, retiree insurance, or a COBRA plan, then you also have minimum essential coverage. If your plan qualified as minimum essential coverage before you enrolled in Medicare, it will continue to count as such.

If you only have Medicare Part B, then you do not have minimum essential coverage from Medicare.

Taking the Next Steps

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