What is minimum essential coverage?

Minimum essential coverage (MEC) is a major medical policy that meets the standards established by the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare). MEC includes, but isn't limited to:

  • Health insurance purchased on a marketplace exchange (i.e. Stride Health, healthcare.gov, Covered California, MNsure.com, etc.)
  • Health insurance purchased directly from an insurance company (See notes below for exclusions)
  • A spouse’s employer-provided health insurance
  • Health insurance from a second employer
  • Government-sponsored insurance (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, VA health plan, Peace Corps health plan, etc.)
  • COBRA
  • Employer-provided retiree coverage
  • A parent’s health insurance policy that qualifies as one of the above

*Note: Some policies purchased directly from insurance companies do not meet MEC such as Short-term health plans, health care sharing ministries, stand-alone vision and dental plans, and plans that provide only limited benefits don't qualify as minimum essential coverage.

Do I have to have health insurance in order to request reimbursement?

No. You don't need to have health insurance to be reimbursed for your medical expenses. You will always save on payroll taxes but will have to pay income tax on reimbursement received if you don’t have MEC at the time the expenses were incurred.

During the submission process, there will be a question asking if you or a family member have MEC when you submit a premium and/or medical expense for reimbursement (see example below)

PeopleKeep will work with your employer using this information to add any additional taxable income to box 1 of your W-2 at the end of the year.

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